Online chat room may be 'scene' of suicide

2012-03-07 15:07
Omaha - Visitors to an online video chat room may have watched a 19-year-old man fatally shoot himself in the head and investigators are scouring the man's computer to try to identify possible witnesses, police said on Tuesday.

Bellevue Police Chief John Stacey said the shooting was reported late on Saturday morning by a Florida man who said he had been in the chat on Friday evening before logging off for the night. The man said when he logged back in Saturday morning, people were talking about the shooting.

The Florida man, who police said knew the man in Nebraska, called Bellevue police. Officers went to the suburban Omaha home where the man lived with his parents and found his body in his room, Stacey said.

Investigators are working to determine whether the shooting was a suicide or an accident, Stacey said.

"This is the first one I've ever heard about like this," Stacey said.

The Nebraska man's computer is being examined for clues about who may have been logged into the chat room when the shooting happened, Stacey said. Investigators won't know for sure whether anyone witnessed the shooting until they determine how to contact people behind their chat room usernames.

Real or not?

Stacey said he didn't know details about the type of chat room the man was logged into, but that it appeared to be just a place where the Nebraska man just talked with friends.

Police would like to know why the shooting wasn't reported sooner by someone in the chat room, Stacey said, but he added they might not have known anything about the man other than his username or whether what they witnessed was real.

He said investigators don't yet know if the shooting was recorded, but added he hoped not so that it would not be posted online.

A 19-year-old Florida college student committed suicide in 2008 by taking a drug overdose while people watched him online and some egged him on. Some viewers called police, but it was too late to save the young man.

In 2007, a 42-year-old man in England committed suicide by hanging while broadcasting to an internet chat room via webcam. A chat room user notified police, who found him dead.

Read more on:    us  |  internet

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.