A man was shot and killed in Wingate on Monday – and it was caught on Facebook Live, officials confirmed to the Observer.
The man was identified as Prentis Robinson by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. The shooting sent Wingate University into a lockdown, though the shooting was off campus on Jerome Street.
Late Monday, police identified the suspect as Douglas Colson and said they were still looking for him. Neighbors told Charlotte TV station WCNC that Robinson often used social media to publicize neighborhood disputes. Some worried that’s what got him killed.
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Colson was questioned Monday, however he was not under arrest at the time. Officials say they later discovered more information that led to the warrant for first-degree murder.
Officials confirmed that Robinson was on Facebook Live when he was shot. The video shows Robinson walking down the street talking to the camera, which appeared to be attached to a “selfie stick.”
On Facebook Live, Robinson wore a hat and carried a selfie stick as he talked about his phone getting stolen.
He stopped by the Wingate Police Department to talk with Chief Donnie Gay about getting his phone back. The police office is around the corner from Jerome Street.
“Bring his phone back so he can get on with his way today,” Gay said to the camera during the Facebook Live.
Robinson kept walking. About 5 1/2 minutes into the video, he encountered someone else off-camera.
Robinson apparently said “You on live” several times, trying to tell the other person he was filming on Facebook.
A man holding a long black object briefly appeared on camera before several shots rang out.
“OMG (what) just happened,” one person commented on Facebook seconds after the shooting.
The Facebook Live camera landed face-up and broadcast trees for the rest of the video. Eventually, a car pulled up – visible in the edge of the screen – and someone found Robinson.
According to his Facebook account, Robinson was a musician. In several other Facebook Live videos, he’s shown playing guitar.
Gay told WBTV he knew Robinson well and was stunned that the shooting happened so close to the police department.
Public records indicate Robinson lived in Charlotte in the mid-2000s but spent much of his adult life in Wingate. He graduated from Forest Hills High School in Marshville, according to Facebook.
Wingate University’s lockdown was lifted after about an hour. Wingate Elementary was on lockdown from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., the school said on Facebook.
The university said on Twitter that police are looking for a black male with a long gun wearing a black and blue windbreaker and brown Timberland boots.