Wednesday’s shooting, taking place just a few days after the Orlando, Florida massacre at a gay nightclub, was a stark depiction of the gun violence that has plagued the United States and fueled a rise in murders in one of its premier cities.
In the Facebook Live video, Antonio Perkins, 28, inadvertently captured his own murder. He can be seen broadcasting selfie-style on his smartphone, when suddenly about a dozen gunshots ring out in quick succession.
The video failed to capture who is shooting, and its image is dark because the incident took place at 8:43 pm. Perkins immediately drops the phone, after which there is only audio as panicked voices can be heard trying to keep the man alive.
“Oh my God!” a woman screams. “Call the police! Hurry up!” a man says. “Tony, you’re good Tony,” says another woman, talking to the victim.
Perkins died from gunshot wounds to the neck and head, according to police, who say they have made no arrests in the ongoing investigation.
Officials say Perkins was a documented gang member, but people who knew the man told Chicago TV station WGN that he was no longer in a gang and that he was likely not the intended target of the shooting.
“Stop judging us like that. His life really did matter,” a woman identified as a friend of Perkins told WGN.
‘End the killing fields’
At least 13 other people were wounded in shootings in the city on Wednesday, according to a tally by the Chicago Tribune.
There have been some 269 murders so far this year, a staggering 49 percent increase from the same period a year ago, according to statistics released by Chicago police.
“We must end the killing fields,” said civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.
Jackson was speaking to a room of journalists about an upcoming summit his Rainbow PUSH Coalition is holding on a range of issues — from the presidential elections to alleviating poverty in African American neighborhoods.
Gun violence topped the agenda, especially after the shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.
Jackson said that while the mass shooting was a national tragedy, gun violence in cities like Chicago continues to claim lives.
“We need a White House conference on violence, poverty and urban reconstruction,” Jackson said. “Chicago is a major transit station for guns and drugs.”
The Orlando killer, Omar Mateen, used a pistol and a Sig Sauer MCX rifle, an assault weapon originally designed for US Special Operations forces.
There has been much debate in the US about the role of assault rifles, automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and whether they have a place in American society. Under considerable political pressure, the US Senate is expected to take up several gun-control measures next week.
Wednesday’s live-streamed shooting came as Facebook was dealing with the killings in France of a police officer and his partner a day earlier. The assailant who committed the murder used Facebook Live to issue threats.
Facebook said it was cooperating with French authorities and that it treated “takedown requests by law enforcement with the highest urgency.”
“We do understand and recognize that there are unique challenges when it comes to content and safety for Live videos,” a Facebook spokeswoman said.
“It’s a serious responsibility, and we work hard to strike the right balance between enabling expression while providing a safe and respectful experience.”