A Chicago gang member unwittingly streamed his own death on Facebook Wednesday after he was shot while posting a real-time video.
Antonio Perkins, 28, is seen in the video looking around before shots ring out. The final images seen in the video are of bloody grass before a black screen – but the screams of friends and onlookers continue for minutes.
Perkins was confirmed dead at Mount Sinai Hospital at 9:07pm, around 20 minutes after the shooting. Police said they believe the video is genuine, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The video starts with Perkins and a female friend drinking and playing around with his phone on the the north end of the 1600 block of South Drake Avenue at around 8:45pm.
She hands the phone back to Perkins, who remarks that it’s ‘Hot. Mom, I’m hot.’
He then pans the phone around to show his friends on their block party and their items, including baby strollers. A few minutes later a child can he heard.
At around five and a half minutes into the video, Perkins glances up at something off camera, and seems to look a little worried. He goes quiet and looks a little tense.
Suddenly there’s a cry of ‘What?’ from off-camera and Perkins begins to move – then multiple gunshots are heard as the camera tumbles into the grass at Perkins’s feet.
There are shouts and cries of fear and surprise as gunshots continue.
Perkins appears to try to pick up the phone while he is on the ground, and blood-smeared grass can be seen, as well as a brief glimpse of his face.
Another man is seen hiding behind a car as someone shouts ‘Tony’s f****** down, n****!’
Then the screen goes black as voices can be heard screaming for help and telling ‘Tony’ to stay conscious.
‘Oh my God!’ cries one person. Other voices soon join in.
‘Call the police! Hurry up!’
‘Man somebody call an ambulance, please!’
‘Tony! You good, Tony! You good, Tony!’
‘He bleeding out his mouth and his nose right now,’ one person shouts.
‘Baby, wake up!’ a woman shouts.
‘Tony, stay breathing! I love you! Tony, baby! Come on! Please!’
There’s an argument about whether they should turn him over, or whether that might cause him to choke on his blood.
Finally, first responders can be heard telling people to stand back. Some members of the crowd demand to ‘stay right here’ while others seem to be telling everyone to move away.
The rest of the video is just ambient noise, occasionally interspersed with what appears to be the ringtone on Antonio’s phone, ringing out and a brief conversation by EMTs over whether they should ‘kill’ the phone.
The video has been watched 499,000 times.
Joyce Mosely, who posted the video, said: ‘CHICAGO WE HAVE TO DO BETTER THIS… This is a mockery to our human race! … You can’t even sit in front of your house and enjoy your family’s company anymore!’
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that Perkins served two years in prison for making heroin.
He was on the department’s ‘strategic subjects list’ of people determined to be likely targets or suspects in gang violence, and police are investigating a gang motive.
But friends and family described Perkins – also known as ‘Cicero Yayo’ – as a good man who worked every day and rarely took a night off like the one he was enjoying Wednesday.
His father, Daniel Cole, told WGNTV ‘A lot of people loved my son; he was a good person.’
Perkins – a father of three, according to comments on his Facebook page – had just been promoted at McDonald’s, friends said. They denied that he was a gang member.
‘Stop judging everybody. Stop judging us like that. His life really did matter,’ a friend, who only gave her name as Tiffany, told the channel.
Perkins is only the latest victim of a shocking wave of violence that has swept across Chicago over the past year.
So far this year 278 people have been killed in the city – that’s more than half the total number of people killed last year, according to The Chicago Tribune.
May was the most violent month so far, with 64 slain – the highest since January, when 58 were killed. January had already been recorded as the most violent start to a year since 2000.
Ten other people were shot the night that Perkins died, but all bar him survived.
Perkins’s brother was also shot and killed several years ago.