San Francisco, CA – We’ve officially reached the point at which we’re so obsessed with our pocket tech that we can’t unplug even to save our own lives.
There’s security footage, too. Law enforcement officials say that 30-year-old Nikhom Thephakaysone clearly waves a gun around and points it across the aisle over and over in the footage, but no one seems to notice.
Eventually, Thephakaysone does open fire on a random passenger. Justin Valdez, a 20-year-old college student, was killed in the Monday shooting.
“These weren’t concealed movements — the gun is very clear,” District Attorney George Gascon told the Chronicle. “These people are in very close proximity with him, and nobody sees this. They’re just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot. They’re completely oblivious of their surroundings.”
Apparently, this is happening quite a lot lately. Law enforcement experts say that it’s not uncommon in police reports regarding device theft for the victim to say that the suspect “came out of nowhere,” suggesting that the victim was far too engrossed in texting to notice his or her surroundings.
“Oftentimes when you interview people who get their phones stolen, when you ask them to describe where the person came from, what he was wearing, they have no idea,” police Chief Greg Suhr told the Chronicle.
But, of course, having those devices can be a huge asset to law enforcement. During the Boston bombing, for instance, all of the amateur footage proved to be crucial to the investigation, notes Yahoo.
In any case, Thephakaysone plead not guilty to murder. Authorities have the train footage and another video of him holding the gun elsewhere before boarding the train. They believe that he was “hunting” for a victim. He was also carrying $20,000 in cash when he was caught.