Deathstreaming: U.S. Army Vet Whose Son Was Killed on Facebook Live Says ‘Violence Has to Stop’

A 34-year-old father of five was killed while using Facebook’s livestreaming platform on Thursday in Mobile, Ala.
A 34-year-old father of five was killed while using Facebook’s livestreaming platform on Thursday in Mobile, Ala.
Photo: Associated Press

Could you imagine how it feels to have served in the military and then work a quarter of a century for the Department of Corrections to learn one day that your son has been murdered while broadcasting on social media—of all places?

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That is what happened to Roosevelt Rankins, Sr., whose 34-year old namesake was murdered while streaming on Facebook Live on Thursday afternoon in Montgomery, Ala.

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On Friday, police confirmed that a live video is connected to the killing of Roosevelt Rankins, Jr. but did not immediately confirm that the father of five is the man in the video, the Alabama Media Group reported.

The 46-minute video, posted by a Facebook user named “Crum King” had been viewed more than 377,000 times with 10,200 shares by Saturday afternoon.

Illustration for article titled Deathstreaming: U.S. Army Vet Whose Son Was Killed on Facebook Live Says ‘Violence Has to Stop’
Photo: screenshot (Facebook)

For the first half of the video, the gold teeth-clad man appears to be driving in a car singing and dancing to trash rap music before stopping the car. In a heavy country accent, he is happily bragging about making money.

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“Y’all better get with us... we ain’t gotta rap, we gonna do numbers,” he says into the camera.

Wearing a hoodie and fidgeting with candy wrappers from a Dollar Tree shopping bag, he jokingly engages with another man about it being income tax season with a blunt in his hand.

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At one point, he appeared to be making lean.

About 24 minutes into the video, someone comes up to the window and the man reacts by throwing his hands up in the air before gunfire is heard and the phone drops to the floor.

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The car can be heard to accelerate quickly for a few moments before a loud crash is heard.

Moments later another man’s voice can be heard asking, “You’re alright?”

“No, I’m shot,” he replied.

Then a voice is heard yelling, “Call the police. Call the ambulance. Call somebody.”

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A person is heard yelling “Stank, don’t go. Stank, don’t go. Call the goddamn paramedics.”

Montgomery police and fire medics reportedly responded about 3 p.m. Thursday and located a crashed vehicle. They found Rankins, the driver, who had sustained a fatal gunshot wound in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Rankins, Sr. said he heard the news from his niece who called him and told him his son had been shot.

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The U.S. Army vet and Alabama Department of Corrections retiree believes his son was possibly set up for a robbery.

“There are too many young black men killing young black men,’’ Rankins, Sr. told the outlet. “I can’t understand what’s going on with our people.”

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“The violence has to stop,’’ he continued, vowing that he is “going to step up and start speaking out about it. I’m hurt.”

No arrests have been made and anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 334-215-STOP, Montgomery Police at 334-625-2831 or the secret witness line at 334-625-4000.

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Non Sleeping Giant

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