Three men in Norfolk, Virginia were relaxing in a car, smoking, and singing along to rap music while one of them captured the fun on Facebook Live. The incident happened on Tuesday evening, and now that video is evidence in a triple shooting in the Berkley neighborhood of the city.
According to police, the video shows the shooting of three men, all in their late 20s. The men were hospitalized in life-threatening condition. One man is in a critical condition, while the other two men are “doing better” according to a police statement.
3 men were sitting in a car when they were shot in Norfolk, Va. One of them had just turned on Facebook Live https://t.co/mA03HhDWOO
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 13, 2016
According to 13 News Now, the video shows T.J. Williams, who is streaming to Facebook Live, sitting in the passenger seat of the car. The camera pans to show a second man, who appears to be texting, while a third man in the back seat of the car is rapping along with the music.
The men do not appear to notice anyone suspicious approaching the car. Suddenly there is the sound of what could be 30 gunshots. The shooting carries on for around 20 second and then there is silence.
Suddenly one of the men says, “Nah, call the ambulance please.”
Someone can then be heard to be calling 911 but is put on hold, as all dispatchers were busy. It is not known whether one of the victims was making the 911 call.
One of the men can then be heard to say, “We need an ambulance. Three of us shot.”
At that stage, another man with a calm voice arrives on the scene, telling the three victims to remain calm.
He says three times, “Stay calm, stay relaxed,” and tells the men to stay awake and look at him.
“I got you,” he says. “… It’s going to be all right.”
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) July 13, 2016
As the man continues to speak calmly to the three victims, telling them help is on the way, the paramedics arrive.
The video then carries on for over an hour with the voices of paramedics and police officers on the scene. Officials speak to the wounded men, describing their condition to other emergency responders.
When a second ambulance arrives on the scene, a paramedic can be heard telling one of the victims, “Sorry about this. Your buddy is more shot up than you are. He’s going second. You’re going to be third.”
That third victim was later taken on a gurney to the ambulance and arrived at the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital approximately 20 minutes after the shooting started.
The Facebook Live video is included here, but readers are warned that the footage is of a graphic nature and may upset sensitive viewers.
As reported by CNN, the Facebook Live video is the second to offer up evidence in the case of a shooting. Last week a Minnesota woman streamed her fiancé’s death after Philando Castile was shot during a police stop. Such videos have started a discussion on Facebook as to whether such footage should be taken down from the social media platform.
According to Facebook, they take into account the “context and degree” of a live or recorded video, saying, “For instance, if a person witnessed a shooting, and used Facebook Live to raise awareness or find the shooter, we would allow it.”
“However, if someone shared the same video to mock the victim or celebrate the shooting, we would remove the video.”
In the current case, Norfolk police will be using the video as part of their investigation into the shooting, and they have asked members of the public to come forward with any information on the shooters.
[Photo via Facebook Live video]