Louisville Shooting Leaves Five Dead and Was Live-Streamed

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Need to Know from SafeWise
  • A shooting at a bank on Monday in Louisville, Kentucky, left five people dead and eight injured. The shooter live-streamed the attack.
  • Authorities have also released bodycam footage of police officers arriving and confronting the shooter.
  • Footage of violent events is more common due to social media sharing, police body cameras, and live-streaming.
  • Knowing how to deal with your stress and anxiety is essential when watching released footage of violent events—like the shooting in Louisville this week.

On Monday in Louisville, Kentucky, a 25-year-old man shot and killed five colleagues at the downtown bank. Eight other people were wounded in the attack, including a police officer. The shooter used a rifle he purchased legally.

The workplace shooting was live-streamed by the shooter on Instagram. A bystander across the street also recorded some of the attack, and on April 11, police released body camera footage.

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During a press conference, interim Louisville Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said, “The suspect was live-streaming, and, unfortunately, that’s tragic to know that incident was out there and captured. We’re hopeful that we can have that footage removed.”

Meta removed the video from Facebook and Instagram the morning of the shooting.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time a mass shooter has live-streamed their attack. The Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand was live-streamed on Facebook in 2019, and the 2022 mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, was streamed on Twitch.

Dealing with stress and anxiety when watching footage of violent events

Earlier this year, in January, our resident safety expert Rebecca Edwards posted a video about how to deal with stress and anxiety when watching footage of violent events.

Rebecca’s video was in reaction to the release of the footage of Tyre Nichols’s death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, and Rebecca offers some great advice.

“It’s just been on my mind about what our constant exposure to these events and these horrible parts of our society and world and the impact it can have on us,” Rebecca says. “It builds up on me after a while, even though I do it for a living.”

Here are eight tips from Rebecca:

1. Whatever you choose to do, take care of yourself and stay safe.

  • “First of all, prepare yourself that you’re going to feel stuff after watching this — you’re going to feel upset,” Rebecca says.
  • It’s important to recognize and remember that this kind of footage is traumatic and releases emotions we may not be prepared for.

2. Have an action plan

  • Utilize your support system; talk to friends, loved ones, or a therapist to process your feelings; and get involved with organized events, like going to a vigil or community event, something that’s peaceful and positive.
  • You can also go out and do something you enjoy “Take a walk, spend time with your pet, dance to your favorite song,” Rebecca says. You want to find “something that’s going to give you that little break that there are light spots in the world even when it feels so dark.”

3. Monitor your exposure

  • Remember that you do not need to watch any of the traumatic footage. Monitoring your exposure and recognizing what’s best for you is essential.
  • “I never watch these videos,” Rebecca says. “I read the articles, but I just can’t bring myself to embed those images in my brain.”

4. Engage in activism

  • If you watch or don’t watch the video and don’t want to ignore the fact that traumatic events happened, you can engage in activism.
  • Rebecca says, “You can hashtag them, you organize ideas, you can get engaged in activism that’s happening in the community – and that ensures that we remember the name, we acknowledge that it happened.”

5. Lift up vs. sharing trauma

  • Sharing the footage unprompted—and unauthorized—can be perceived as sharing the trauma instead of helping others. Remembering the person instead of sharing footage to spread the trauma is important.
  • “What we’re trying to do is lift the spirit of that person instead of sharing the trauma,” Rebecca says.
Alex Kerai
Written by
Alex Kerai
Alex began writing for student newspapers and has managed to turn that into a career. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he wrote about small businesses for Biz2Credit and Business.org. Before that, he spent time in communications for higher education institutions, created marketing materials for nonprofits, and worked for entertainment companies in Los Angeles. Today, he reports on emerging consumer trends and his work can be seen on The Penny Hoarder, SafeWise, Business.org, Reviews.org, Move.org, WhistleOut.com, CableTV.com, HighSpeedInternet.com, and SatelliteInternet.com. When he's not writing, Alex watches too much TV, plays guitar, reads and writes fiction, and goes on nature walks.

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