SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Investigators are asking for the public’s help after a double homicide at a strip mall in Foothill Farms over the weekend. One of the shootings was captured on camera and posted to social media.
A Saturday night turned deadly when two men were gunned down. An eyewitness recorded one of the shootings on his cell phone, walking toward the gunfire as he continues to record, even shouting at the gunman as he appears to kick one of the men who are down.
The video was uploaded to Instagram where others could see the carnage.
“While shocking, it’s not uncommon,” said Shaun Hampton with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
The Sheriff’s Department is looking at many different videos from that night.
“People have a network-grade camera right in the palm of their hands all of the time and when incidents happen. That’s the first thing people do,” said Hampton.
Communications Studies professor Nicholas Zoffel agreed.
“Anytime you have a technology change, that’s going to be a cultural shift,” Zoffel said.
Zoffel said people are now willing to forsake their own safety to be a part of a moment.
“People have become conditioned to instead of running away or seeking cover or seeking their own personal safety. It’s become this moment of fame,” said Zoffel.
Zoffel asks his students “Should the technology be used proactively or reactively?” It’s a conversation that has gone on for thousands of years.
An example is the printing press. People were afraid of the ills it could expose in society. And in some cases, sadly technology has invited the disturbed. This was the case with the New Zealand mass shooter who broadcast his grisly crime on Facebook live.
“That stuff exists. These are people we deal with on a daily basis as law enforcement,” said Hampton.
Investigators say exposing these heinous acts has proven beneficial from a prosecution-standpoint.
“Those are great evidence when you play it for a jury in court. They see the lack of remorse and the intent,” said Hampton
But ultimately, the use of these technological tools will be left to the court of public opinion.