A man who livestreamed the shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado is receiving both criticism and praise for his actions, with some saying he exhibited bravery while others argued he walked past victims and posed a security risk.
Dean Schiller, who identified himself as a citizen journalist, was at the spot when the shooting began at King Soopers on Monday, and he began filming the incident on his cellphone and streaming it to his YouTube channel ZFG Videography. His feed drew over 30,000 viewers during the livestream.
The shooting at the supermarket killed 10 people, including one police officer, and a suspect is receiving medical treatment.
In the video, one person can be seen lying on the floor inside the store and two more outside on the ground. What sounds like two gunshots are also heard at the beginning of the video.
At one point, a handcuffed man in police custody was seen in the video who was wearing only underwear and appeared to have blood on his leg. Police haven’t confirmed whether he is the suspect receiving treatment.
Mr Schiller was removed from the scene a bit later, and has been interviewed by several media outlets as a witness.
Some social media users have suggested that he walked past the victims during his stream without doing anything to help them.
“10 People dead, 30K watched #Boulder,” a user, Angelika Sabine wrote. “Dean Schiller from Boulder livestreamed the shooting scene at the King Soopers while walking past injured/shot victims. He did absolutely nothing to help anyone. He didn’t render aid, only filmed and passed on the location of Police officers.”
“This Dean Schiller guy live streaming this shooting literally walked past three victims and didn’t even attempt to try and help them,” another user William A Hirsch wrote. “He just kept recording the situation in Boulder for the clout.”
Mr Schiller was also criticised by those suggesting he could have revealed tactical police information during the still active shooter situation. Authorities asked media outlets not to reveal such information in their coverage.
According to the Associated Press, Mr Schiller and Jedon Kerr, who describe themselves as citizen journalists, sued the City of Boulder in 2019 after they were arrested and jailed — but never charged — for filming in and around the Boulder County Jail. Their attorney in that lawsuit, David Lane of Killmer, Lane and Newman, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
The Denver independent weekly newspaper Westword wrote a story about the lawsuit in June 2019, in which they described Mr Schiller as a personal trainer and a police watchdog. He was quoted saying: “It was extremely important, though, that we not break any laws or obstruct officers from doing their jobs.”
Police say an investigation into the Boulder shooting will take at least five days. The identities of the victims have not been revealed yet, except for officer Eric Talley, 51, who was with the Boulder police department for a decade. This is the seventh mass shooting incident in the US in the last seven days.
Additional reporting by agencies