Facebook’s Livestream Feature Captures More Violence

Facebook live streaming feature captures the moments before, during and after a shooting in Norfolk, Va., July 12.

by / July 13, 2016
TJ Williams Video Screenshot

Last week, the direct aftermath of the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop was livestreamed on Facebook by Castile’s fiancée. The footage was not the shaky, hard-to-make-out video so often associated with police shootings – it was crystal clear and visceral, and added fuel to the larger national conversation around racial profiling and policing. 

Just six days later, on July 12, the popular Facebook Live streaming feature captured another shooting, documenting the moments just before and while an unknown number of assailants opened fire on three men in a parked vehicle in Norfolk, Va. The video streamed to TJ Willams’ Facebook account.

In the video, Williams and two other men are sitting in a parked car with the radio on, when a barrage of more than 30 bullets can be heard. After the gunfire starts, about five and a half minutes into the video, the camera falls to the floor and continues recording audio. 

An unknown person can be heard asking for an ambulance and sounds of a hectic scene are picked up on the camera’s microphone. Norfolk police reported that the three men were transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and that two of the men were listed as having life-threatening injuries. 

In an update, the Norfolk Police Department said that the condition of two of the victims had stabilized, but that one was still listed in critical condition. The men were 27 and 29 years old. 

No motive for the shooting has been released and police are searching for more information in the case.

VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT AND LANGUAGE