Police believe a 31-year-old man shot while live-streaming on Facebook was targeted, and the violence — which took place Thursday afternoon as bystanders looked on — may be gang-related.
The victim hasn’t been named, but he is known to law enforcement for past crimes. According to the Chicago Tribune, he was hit in the face and groin, and is recovering in the hospital from his wounds; he’s in critical condition.
The unknown shooter fled the scene and has not yet been apprehended.
The shooting took place at about 4:50 p.m. in the West Englewood neighborhood, at the intersection of 56th Street and Hoyne. After he was shot, the investigators began their investigation into the incident with a now-standard online search and found the video, the Associated Press reported.
“We are confident (it) isn’t a hoax,” said spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
After gang-related shootings, it’s standard procedure now for police to search social media sites, which is now a battleground between rival gang members, he explained. They call it “cyber-banging.”
Warning: The following footage may be disturbing to some readers.
“More and more of these incidents either originate or escalate from some type of activity that is on a social media platform,” he said.
So far, police have two theories as to what happened while the man was live-streaming in West Englewood. It may have been revenge for taunting rivals online, or he was taunting another gang purposefully on their territory.
“He was certainly targeted. We are trying to find out why.”
The life-streaming footage is disturbing.
The man who shot the video had moved away from Chicago and returned perhaps mere hours, or a few days, before he was gunned down, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He was live-streaming on Facebook to his friends at the time of the shooting, meaning anyone could’ve been watching the violence live as it played out.
Just before he’s shot, the man jokes that a corner store that had been closed was now open in honor of his return to the city.
“They heard I was out here so they had to open the store up for the kid. Y’know what I mean, I can’t be out here without the store being open. I need somewhere to duck and hide.”
Then shots ring out and the camera drops, landing on the ground with the lens facing toward the sky. The shooter steps over the phone and is filmed firing another dozen shots at an unseen target. Then he disappears.
Groans and the cries of stunned bystanders follow. People are heard urging the man to keep breathing. A woman cries “No, no, no, no!… I don’t believe this!”
A neighbor watched the entire scene unfold from his porch. He saw as the victim — wearing a White Sox cap and white hoodie — walk down the street with his phone held up, talking to the camera while live-streaming online. Then a second man — this one in a red, white, and black jacket — walked down the street with pistol in hand and fired at the victim, who ran and fell.
“I seen it all right there on the street. Then I saw the video.”
A police source said that the series of events captured in the live-streaming video match what they believe occurred at the scene.
Detectives are now waiting for the victim to wake up so they can ask questions and ascertain why he was shot in broad daylight. Police know him already, the Times noted. In a 2005 case, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and spent four years in Cook County Jail awaiting trial. He was sentenced for time served.
The man shot Thursday was one of 677 victims in Chicago this year.
[Photo by Burlingham/Shutterstock]