A video purporting to show a St. Louis man loading a gun and shooting someone in broad daylight has caused outrage online.
The video was first shared to Twitter by KMOX area reporter Kevin Killeen on Monday evening, though his initial tweet has since been removed by the platform. Seemingly filmed by an onlooker, the clip appears to show two men, one standing and wearing a blue and yellow jacket, another sitting on a street curb and wearing all black.
As the disturbing 45-second video plays out, the standing man can be seen slowly loading a handgun as whoever is filming the scene comments on the situation. Near the end, the standing man points the loaded gun at the sitting man’s head and pulls the trigger. A gunshot can be heard and the sitting man’s head can briefly be seen jerking forward in reaction, but the person filming the scene abruptly pulls away at this point, shouting “Oh my god,” and stopping the recording.
Newsweek has been unable to independently verify the authenticity of the clip, though subsequent tweets from Killeen appear to support the notion that the shooting was real. Returning to the scene captured in the clip on Monday morning, Killeen found a heavy police presence and noted a dead body in all-black clothing, the same as the sitting man in the video, visible on the same curb where the video would have been filmed.
“Aftermath of shooting, when I arrived around 10:30 Monday morning, as seen from across north Tucker at Shell station,” Killeen wrote in a tweet. “Victim in same dark clothing as video dead on the sidewalk.”
St. Louis is one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S., research by Statista in August 2022 shows, with a murder rate that year of 60.59 per 100,000 people. This was the highest murder rate outside Latin America and the 14th highest overall in the world.
While unconfirmed, the video is suspected by some online to be related to a fatal shooting in St. Louis on Monday reported on by local outlets such as KMOV News. The news channel reported that the alleged shooting took place around 10 a.m. local time on Tucker Street, the same street Killeen mentioned in his follow-up tweets. St. Louis Police found a man lying on the street with a puncture wound to his head. Witnesses said that he had been involved in an altercation with the suspected shooter prior to the incident.
Police later arrested an unnamed 23-year-old St. Louis man in connection with the incident around 2:40 p.m., locating him as he was entering a library on Olive Street. Further details about the suspect and the alleged shooting are not available at this time.
KMOV News reported that the victim was believed to have been a homeless man, a detail claimed by various social media users as the clip circulated. The video has, as of Tuesday afternoon, garnered over 3.4 million views on Twitter alone after being reshared by other users. Some have claimed that the incident depicted in the video is fake, though this also cannot be definitively proven, and other evidence points to it being real.
Newsweek reached out to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for comment. Newsweek also reached out to Killeen for clarification on the origin of the original clip.