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A man who snapped a compelling set of photos during last week's Dallas police ambush is speaking out to thank the officer who saved his life. 

Robert Moore, a photographer and former publisher of the Dallas Voice, was at the anti-police brutality protest Thursday night to document the scene.  

When the peaceful march ended, gunfire erupted.

"I heard the shots and turned to the right and saw one officer go down. And that's when I knew it was quite real," he told the Dallas Morning News.

That's when Moore got down behind a car, along with officers who were trying to figure out where the shooter was positioned and how many gunmen there were. 

He recalled police officers yelling that the shooter had an automatic weapon and was in an elevated position. 

"A lot of chaos and a lot of obvious concern because they don't know how many and they don't know where," said Moore.

Moore's gripping photos of the chaotic scene at that moment have now gone viral.

Moore wrote, "I spent two hours last night crouching behind a car at Lamar and Main, trying to "get small! get small!" Much of it with this guy. I don't know his name but I won't forget him. ‪#‎prayfordallas."‬

The officer was later identified as 25-year-old James Dylan Smith.

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Moore noted that some people have looked at his photo and said they see "fear" in Officer Smith's eyes. 

He disagreed, calling Smith "hyper-vigilant," stressing that at that moment officers had no idea where the shooter was located and whether there were more. 

Moore recalled that the officers were getting reports of shooters at numerous locations. 

"What I see is a guy who is ... calm, he's collected, he's completely in control and trained for the assignment he is there to do," said Moore.

He said Smith arrived with a heavier weapon to provide cover for the other patrolmen behind Moore, who only had handguns.

Police have since said the shooter was using "shoot-and-move" tactics, quickly firing from different areas, leading them to initially believe more than one shooter was involved. 

Moore said Smith and other officers continually reminded him not to move and to keep his head down if he did reposition himself.

"It was a very intense time," he said, explaining that he was crouched behind the car for two hours.

Moore said police departments around the country have called him to ask if they can display his photos of Officer Smith.

Watch Moore's riveting account above.

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