A shooting in Norfolk, Va. that left three men injured Tuesday evening was apparently captured on Facebook Live.
Norfolk police said the shooting, which occurred around 6 p.m., left two men with life-threatening injuries. Authorities were investigating the existence of a possible Facebook Live video showing the shooting, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
A graphic video posted to Facebook under the name TJ Williams appeared to capture the incident in harrowing detail.
The video begins by showing three men sitting in a car, listening to music and smoking. One man, identified as Williams on his Facebook page, stares into the camera and sings rap lyrics.
About five and a half minutes into the video, there is a flurry of loud pops.
Williams appears to drop the camera but it continues to record on the floor of the car.
As the pops continue, a shoe — presumably belonging to one of the men in the car — briefly appears before disappearing.
At least 30 pops ring out over the course of 20 chaotic seconds.
“Call the ambulance, please,” a man can be heard saying about a minute later.
“Call 911,” a woman can be heard yelling in the distance as the camera films the underside of a car seat.
An “all lines are busy” message can be heard before what a male 911 dispatcher eventually answers.
“We need an ambulance,” one of the injured men says. “There’s three of us shot.”
The video was posted to Facebook at 6:03 p.m. In the video, one of the apparent victims can be heard telling an emergency dispatcher his address. Norfolk police responded to a shooting at the same location eight minutes later, according to the department’s Twitter account.
Police spokesman Officer Daniel Hudson told the Pilot he could not specify which video the agency was investigating. The newspaper said it could not determine the origin of the video posted to Williams’s Facebook page.
Police have not yet identified the three victims but said they are men between the ages of 27 and 29.
Williams’s Facebook page says he is from Berkley, the neighborhood in Norfolk where the shooting occurred.
The shooting appears to be at least the second in less than a month captured by Facebook Live.
On June 15, Antonio Perkins was livestreaming himself in Chicago when he was shot by an unknown assailant, the Chicago Tribune reported. His cell phone camera captured Perkins’s blood spilling onto the grass on which he fell.
Less than a week ago, a woman in Minnesota captured the even bloodier aftermath of a police-involved shooting on Facebook Live.
Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds filmed the moments after her fiancé, Philando Castile, was fatally shot July 6 by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez in Falcon Heights, Minn.
A day later, people in downtown Dallas used the same livestreaming service to capture snippets of the ambush of a dozen cops, five of whom died, by a lone gunman.
After the three high-profile incidents, Facebook issued a statement explaining that it would allow users to stream graphic or violent live video under certain conditions.
“Live video can be a powerful tool in a crisis – to document events or ask for help,” Facebook said.
On Tuesday, Facebook Live followers were spared shocking images of the shooting, but they nonetheless listened as dozens of what sounded like gunshots rang out in Norfolk.
After one of the victims called 911, other people were heard arriving at the crime scene.
One of those arriving can be heard on the video talking to the dispatcher while also comforting the victims.
“Hurry up,” the man tells the dispatcher. “Three of them have been shot and they can’t last long.”
“Look at me. Stay with me now,” the same man says to one of the victims. “Don’t go to sleep.”
“Give me your hand,” the man continues. “It’s going to be alright. They are coming to get you.”
On Facebook, listeners followed along as people at the scene cursed and prayed. Paramedics can be heard talking to the victims and evaluating their injuries.
“They don’t even know the camera on,” one Facebook follower commented.
“They don’t know we listening to everything,” added another.
Many people left comments under the video praising the unidentified man who comforted the victims.
“God bless those people keeping them men calm,” wrote one woman.
At one point, the man helping the victims calls one of them his nephew, although it’s unclear if he is actually a relative or simply a good Samaritan.
The cellphone begins vibrating as someone, perhaps a loved one alerted to the shooting, tries to call Williams.
“Sorry about this,” a paramedic can be heard saying as he orders a third ambulance. “Your buddy is more shot up than you are. He’s going second. You’re going third.”
The camera continues to record for a total of 71 minutes, even after the image goes black.