A man in South Texas has been accused of shooting and killing his wife and mother-in-law before taking to Facebook Live to confess to one of the murders while walking away from the crime scene. Local police responded to a rural Edinburg address on Tuesday (10 August) just before 7pm after a male 911 caller reported that he had shot his wife, officials said.
As Alvaro Medrano, 47, left the scene, he reportedly called 911 again and went live on Facebook during the conversation with the dispatcher. He allegedly confessed to killing his wife over infidelities. Medrano was apprehended and taken into custody without incident, officials said.
Police discovered the bodies of two women inside a parked car near Medrano's residence with gunshot wounds to the head. They were identified at Medrano's 30-year-old wife Olga Espinosa and his 52-year-old mother-in-law Irene Espinosa. Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said the handgun was found near the crime scene as well.
Officials said they are working with Facebook's Law Enforcement Compliance Department to recover and preserve Medrano's livestreamed footage as evidence.
"It's just evidence that we can use against him," Guerra said.
Medrano has been charged with capital murder, a capitol felony, with his bond set at $2m (£1.53m) Guerra said Medrano's children, whose ages range from 4 to 14, are staying with the wife's family.
"We do know that he shot his common-law wife in front of his children," Guerra said. "So they're pretty traumatized." He referred to the case as "yet another tragic incident of domestic violence".
Facebook said Medrano's video has already been taken down.
"(The video) violates our Community Standards — we do not allow the celebration of crime on the platform," Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja said, The Monitor reports.
IBTimes UK has reached out to Facebook for comment.
The case comes amid an alarming trend of people taking to Facebook to livestream graphic, criminal and violent acts, from rape and murders to child abuse, torture and suicides. Over the past few months, the social media giant has continued to garner sharp criticism over the use of its site to broadcast disturbing, illegal videos and similar content.
Since Facebook Live's debut in December 2015, at least 45 instances of violence — an average of two per month — including shootings, murders, rapes, torture, suicides and attempted suicides have been broadcast on the site, according to a recent BuzzFeed News study.
In May, Facebook said it plans to hire 3,000 more people over the next year to monitor and remove violent videos and other questionable content.
"It's heartbreaking, and I've been reflecting on how we can do better for our community," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the time. "If we're going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We're working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner —whether that's responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down."
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also added: "Keeping people safe is our top priority. We won't stop until we get it right."