Facebook Live killing suspect turns himself in: Sheriff

PHOTO: Pictured is Douglas Cleveland Colson, who is accused of committing a fatal shooting in North Carolina on Feb. 26, 2018, that was caught on Facebook Live.PlayUnion County
WATCH Facebook Live killing suspect turns himself in

The suspect in a fatal shooting caught on Facebook Live by the alleged victim has turned himself in, authorities said today.

Prentis Robinson was allegedly shot dead by 65-year-old Douglas Cleveland Colson in Wingate, North Carolina, on Monday as Robinson was filming the encounter on Facebook Live, according to the Charlotte Observer.

PHOTO: Douglas Cleveland Colson is accused of fatally shooting Prentis Robinson in North Carolina, Feb. 26, 2018.Union County NC Crime Stoppers
Douglas Cleveland Colson is accused of fatally shooting Prentis Robinson in North Carolina, Feb. 26, 2018.

Before the shooting, Robinson was on Facebook Live, talking about his phone getting stolen, the Observer reported.

Robinson went to the Wingate Police Department and spoke with the police chief about his missing phone. As Robinson continued to roll on Facebook Live, Chief Donnie Gay said to the camera, "Bring his phone back so he can get on with his way today," according to the newspaper.

Robinson then left the police department and encountered someone else; Robinson seems to say "You on live" several times to that person, the newspaper said. Then gunshots ran out.

Colson is in custody and is facing a first-degree murder charge. He is set to appear in court on Wednesday.

PHOTO: Pictured is Douglas Cleveland Colson, who is accused of committing a fatal shooting in North Carolina on Feb. 26, 2018, that was caught on Facebook Live.Union County
Pictured is Douglas Cleveland Colson, who is accused of committing a fatal shooting in North Carolina on Feb. 26, 2018, that was caught on Facebook Live.

“This is a terrible incident and our thoughts are with the victim and his loved ones," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "Because we cannot have known that the victim would have wanted this horrific act to be live-streamed on social media, we have removed the original video."

The spokesperson added, "We will apply a warning screen to future uploads of the video intended to raise awareness or condemn this tragedy, and limit accessibility to people over the age of 18. We will remove instances of videos from Facebook that are shared supporting or encouraging such acts of violence.”

PHOTO: Prentis Robinson, who was shot dead on Feb. 26, 2018, in North Carolina, allegedly broadcast the shooting on Facebook Live.Prentis Robinson
Prentis Robinson, who was shot dead on Feb. 26, 2018, in North Carolina, allegedly broadcast the shooting on Facebook Live.

This isn't the first time video of a killing has been published to Facebook.

Robert Godwin Sr., 74, was gunned down in Ohio last year, allegedly by Steve Stephens, who police say later posted a video of the killing on Facebook.

Godwin's family filed a lawsuit against Facebook this year, saying the social network had the "ability to alert law enforcement, with more than sufficient time to act and prevent" the death.

Natalie Naugle, Facebook associate general counsel, responded in a statement at the time: “We want people to feel safe using Facebook, which is why we have policies in place prohibiting direct threats, attacks, serious threats of harm to public and personal safety and other criminal activity. We give people tools to report content that violates our policies, and take swift action to remove violating content when it’s reported to us.

"We sympathize with the victim’s family, who suffered such a tragic and senseless loss," she added.

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