When a witness took to Facebook Live to stream the lead-up to the imminent death of an armed 18-year-old suspect at the hands of a Metro Police SWAT sniper, it “only served to inflame an already intense situation,” Clark County Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank said.
“Obviously, we cannot stop someone from doing this. But we ask the community to think about what is more important: displaying an intense situation on social media or being socially responsible?” Hank said Tuesday afternoon.
For roughly 70 minutes Saturday morning, the Facebook user stood a few yards from officers as they dealt with an erratic and taunt-flinging Roosevelt Brown, who’d been accused of firing a gun at a family member’s apartment.
Several times, police pleaded with the live streamer to go back inside.
He ignored them.
Officers responded shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday to an apartment. People there told them that one of their family members, Brown, had fired a round at someone inside, missing, and then shot a second bullet from the outside, Hank said.
Arriving officers spotted him running away but lost him, Hank said. A perimeter was set up and he emerged from a dumpster in the neighborhood about an hour later.
Shortly after, the Facebook user captured the next 70 or so minutes of the standoff. Brown kneeled with a gun pointed at his head, paced around, sat down, and got on top of a car as he yelled at the officers who desperately pleaded with him to surrender.
A short clip Hank broadcast showed Brown raising his right arm, aiming the gun at officers in front of him. That’s when a Metro SWAT officer fired the single shot that brought Brown down. Brown died later at a local hospital, the Las Vegas Sun reports.