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Shooting victim broadcasts own attack live on Facebook

Live-streamed video shows three men sitting in a car smoking and singing along with music when dozens of gunshots ring out.

Video live-streamed on Facebook shows the action that precedes a shooting, as well as the aftermath.
TJ Williams/Facebook

One of the victims of a triple shooting in Virginia on Tuesday inadvertently broadcast the attack live to Facebook.

The video, uploaded by Facebook user TJ Willams, shows three men in their late 20s sitting in a car in Norfolk, smoking and singing along to music. To share the fun on Facebook, one of the victims uses his phone to capture the moment with social network's new video feature.

Suddenly, gunfire erupts and the phone is dropped, but it continues to record as dozens of shots are fired into the car and the passers-by call 911 and try to comfort the victims. All three men were hospitalized with life-threatening wounds. Police said two are "doing better," while the third remains in critical condition.

The video, which had been viewed more than 600,000 times by Wednesday night, is at least the third in the past two weeks to present a shooting or its immediate aftermath live to the social-networking giant's users. Tuesday evening's live-stream came a little more than a week after the immediate aftermath of the shooting death of motorist Philandro Castile by a Minnesota police officer was broadcast on Facebook by his girlfriend. The next day, Facebook users watched live as a shooter in Dallas left five police officers dead.

The live-streams have raised questions about the social network's responsibilities. Both the Castile and Dallas videos were initially streamed unedited and uncensored. The Castile video temporarily disappeared from the social network because of a "technical glitch," according to Facebook. It was restored later with a warning about its graphic nature.