A homicide suspect allegedly filmed himself on Facebook Live during a gun battle with Los Angeles police that left an officer wounded on Thursday.
“The gunman, who has yet to be publicly identified, was shouting into the phone that was pointed at him, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation into the shooting,” reported the Los Angeles Times. “KABC-TV showed a clip of what the station said was the video, which it said was posted on Facebook Live. A separate still image shows the man holding a gun to the camera.”
“They coming at me,” the Los Angeles Times reports the suspect said in the shootout video. “I’m gonna die today.”
Facebook Live, which allows users to live stream video to their friends and followers, has been used increasingly to stream criminal activity over the past year. In May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he would be hiring 3,000 new employees to filter out violent content on the platform following a spike in video suicides and murders.
“We know we need to do better,” said the company in a statement following numerous incidents, which included the revelation that one murder video had been on the platform for hours before removal.
In the same month, a man set fire to himself live on Facebook before running into a bar, and police officers managed to save a teenager from a suicide attempt which was being filmed live on the platform.
In January, four people were arrested in Chicago after they filmed themselves on Facebook Live torturing and beating a tied up disabled man, who was repeatedly forced to say, “f*ck Trump,” and, “f*ck white people.” On Easter Sunday, Facebook user Steve Stephens filmed himself shooting and killing 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. before he evaded police for days – eventually committing suicide in a standoff.
Earlier this month, an unsuspecting Facebook user live streamed from his hotel balcony as a mass shooting developed below in South Carolina.