Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Photos of a designated marksman's perch high above Lucas Oil Field circulated Wednesday amid cries they were "disturbing" and demands for an explanation.

Reports from NESN and others said the photos, which show a sniper's nest overlooking the stadium that housed Super Bowl XLVI, had "no known origins." A couple of them include a man behind the weapon with his face digitally blacked out, and details in the images — clear views of the endzone, for example — suggest they're unlikely to be a hoax, Deadspin reported.

The commentary that ensued online decried the photographer's choice to snap an apparently boastful shot of a weapon.

"It's not really all that encouraging to know the man operating the deadly weapon thought it might be cool to take a couple of snapshots," NESN quipped, but others who weren't as fazed pointed out that since the photos bear Indianapolis Police Department insignia, "bad guys" don't appear to be behind them, and increasing security at high-profile events like the Super Bowl isn't new.

Although speculation continues, CBS12 says the shots first appeared on the Facebook page of U.S. Tactical Supply Inc., and if that's the case, an accompanying message suggests the vendor authorized the release of the images.