Several people were injured in a terrifying shooting in South Carolina early Sunday after a gunman opened fire near Ocean Boulevard that was captured by a tourist on Facebook Live. Facebook user Bubba Hinson streamed the violent incident that took place on a busy street near the coast from his hotel balcony.
The footage shows a fight breaking out on the sidewalk with multiple individuals exchanging punches among a crowd of people. A suspect then pulled out a gun seconds later and began firing into the crowd. An armed security officer who witnessed the shooting shot the gunman before he carjacked a vehicle and escaped the scene.
"Officer is down. Multiple people down," Hinson exclaims in the video. "If you're watching this, stay away from 4th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard."
Seven people were taken to nearby hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, WBTW reports. The security officer suffered a graze wound to the leg in the shooting and was treated at the scene.
Police officers later found the stolen vehicle and arrested the suspect. His identity is reportedly being withheld until he is medically cleared and arrest warrants have been served.
The Facebook Live video of the shooting has since gone viral and has garnered over 2.7 million views (Warning: The video contains graphic content). The footage was still online at the time of publication.
Hinson told Myrtle Beach Online he began live-streaming after he noticed a large group of people stalling traffic on Ocean Boulevard.
"I thought they were dancing. That's why I started filming it," the volunteer firefighter, who was in town for the SC Fire-Rescue Convention, said. "Then, they started fighting. Then, they started shooting."
Myrtle Beach Police Lt. Joey Crosby told WBTW that no officer was shot or injured during the incident. However, a patrol car was hit by gunfire.
The terrifying shooting was the third reported one within 12 hours in Myrtle Beach after a gunshot victim was found at Coastal Grand Mall around 4.30pm EST on Saturday. Police also responded to a reported shooting at Crown Reef Motel on Ocean Boulevard about 10 minutes later.
The latest incident comes as Facebook continues to face criticism over graphic videos being live-streamed and uploaded on the popular social media platform. Many people are increasingly turning to Facebook to broadcast graphic and disturbing footage online, from suicides and rapes to murders and tortures.
Facebook Live has also been used to broadcast breaking news, events and protests as well.
Facebook has yet to respond to the latest incident. IBTimes UK has reached out to Bubba Hinson and Facebook for comment.