N.C. man who filmed suspected drug dealers killed on Facebook Live

Prentis Robinson may have been killed in retaliation, police say

Prentis Robinson / Facebook

A North Carolina musician who was known for capturing drug suspects on video filmed his own murder on Facebook Live, and police believe it was a retaliatory move by drug dealers that had been caught making deals on his live broadcasts.

Prentis Robinson, 55, would often use his Facebook Live profile to broadcast his everyday activities as well as attempt to catch drug dealers in the act. According to the local police, he had identified drug dealers in his broadcasts several times. Local authorities in Wingate, N.C., had reportedly warned Robinson that they were worried about his safety and the possibility of retaliation, according to People.

On Monday, Robinson was walking around with a selfie stick saying that he was headed home from the Wingate Police Department after filing a police report over a stolen phone. In the footage, a man approaches Robinson, and he angles the camera to show the man and informs him that he is on Facebook Live.

Shots ring out, and Robinson’s camera captures not only his death but footage of the suspect running away.

Authorities identified Douglas Cleveland Colson as the shooter publicly, and he turned himself in on Tuesday, Wingate police said. He has since been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail.

Murder on Facebook Live

This isn’t the first time a murder has been captured on Facebook’s live streaming service. Last April, 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. was shot and killed by Steve Stephens, who recorded the crime and uploaded it to Facebook Live. Stephens killed himself after a two-day manhunt.

Godwin’s family has since filed suit against Facebook.

“We want people to feel safe using Facebook, which is why we have policies in place prohibiting direct threats, attacks, serious threats of harm to public and personal safety and other criminal activity,” Facebook said in a statement in response to the suit. “We give people tools to report content that violates our policies, and take swift action to remove violating content when it’s reported to us.”