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Vancouver's 'Kissing Couple' May Be Aussie Man, Canadian Girlfriend

Rich Lam
Getty Images

Much still needs to be learned and confirmed about the picture of what many assumed, at first, was a kissing couple lying on a Vancouver street and enjoying a moment of passion as mayhem erupted around them this week.

But at least now there's a widely reported claim about their identities.

As Australian's 9News writes, "The man photographed in a passionate embrace with a woman in the middle of riots in Vancouver is an Australian, according to a Perth woman. ... Hannah Jones ... has come forward saying the man in the shot is her 29-year-old brother Scott, who has been living and working in the Canadian city for six months. Ms Jones said her brother had recently started dating the girl in the photo, identified as Alex Thomas, who is a Canadian."

CBC News says it too has been told by Jones' sisters that it's her brother and his girlfriend in the photo. It adds that Jones' family says "he has been in Canada for six months, working as a bartender and trying to break into acting and standup comedy."

The Vancouver Sun reports that a witness says the couple had been knocked down during the post-Stanley Cup riot that erupted in the streets. The young woman may have been injured.

The Sun has also posted a photo sent to it by many readers. It's taken from above and shows at least three other people standing by the couple.

Our friends at The Picture Show have been following this saga. As they say, the Web has embraced this mystery.

On a much more serious note, Facebook is one way that authorities and concerned citizens are identifying the rioters.

Update at 3:55 p.m. ET. Video:

As we said in our previous update, student Emily Nicole Edgar sent The Vancouver Sun photos of the couple that appear to show that the young woman had been injured. Now, the Sun has added some video from Edgar. It does not show much more than the photos (and in fact, repeats the still images) but does add to your understanding of the scene.

Update at 12:50 p.m. ET. New Photos Add To Evidence That Young Woman Had Been Knocked Down:

The Vancouver Sunhas now posted seven new photos sent to it by Emily Nicole Edgar, who identifies herself as a student photographer who "shot some images and video from the roof" of a building. In them, the young woman is on the ground. The young man is holding her. And in one, he is reaching toward a riot officer who is standing over them. Other officers are also close by.

Edgar tells the Sun that the young man was "trying to protect her [the girl on the ground] from the riot squad."

Update at 10:25 a.m. ET. Jones' Father Tells What Happened:

The CBC now adds that it has spoken with Brett Jones, Scott Jones' father. According to the dad, his son says "they were between the riot police and the rioters, and the riot police were actually charging forward, and Alex got knocked by a [police] shield and fell to the ground. ... [Scott] was comforting her and gave her a kiss to say, 'It's going to be OK,' and the photographer just took the shot at that moment."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.