Prentis Robinson was a model member of the small-town community of Wingate, NC when he was gunned down in the middle of the street by an unknown criminal.
The 55-year-old-man had just had his phone stolen. He had reported it to the police and was walking home when he decided to go live on Facebook. This was typical behavior for Robinson, as neighbors describe him being very active on social media. A vigilante in his own right, the man used to publicize community conflicts online.
The unidentified murdered remains at large, local police say. They warn that residents of Wingate should remain cautious until the killer is apprehended.
Warning – graphic content. Report courtesy of NBC News.
Random Killing or Long-time Feud?
It seems there’s no doubt that Robinson’s behavior angered some of the community. One resident says:
Putting stuff on Facebook about other people, of what they[’ve] done – people don’t like that. People get angry.
The suspect was described wearing heavy boots, jeans, and a black and dark-blue windbreaker. The nearby Wingate University was put on lockdown following the shooting and the community remains on high alert.
Police Chief Donnie Gay points out the audacity of the attack. Whether a random killing or a premeditated act, the fact remains that it took just a block away from the police station. Furthermore, the killer had been warned by Robinson that “you on live.”
As such, the act may have been a desperate one, seeing as so many things could’ve gone wrong. Chief Gay commends the late Prentis Robinson, saying:
It’s heart breaking. I can’t believe it. He took it upon himself to clean up the area
A Long List of Facebook Live Deaths
This is just the latest in a long list of deaths streamed online including Philando Castile, Brook Miranda Hughes and her friend Chaniya Morrison-Toomey, Steve Stephens in Cleveland, and Jacqueline Sanchez.
Facebook’s attitude towards these kinds of videos has varied. While it acknowledges that it may be inappropriate, it’s still useful to keep the videos online at least in the immediate aftermath of the incident so as to warn others.