Gunman Updates Facebook During Standoff

This was silly and a little too funny not to post. Enjoy…

During a 16-hour standoff with SWAT teams, an armed man in Salt Lake City who had taken a woman hostage updated friends and family about the incident on Facebook.

Jason Valdez, according to the Associated Press, made six status updates, posted pictures of himself and the woman (“Got a cute `Hostage’ huh,” he captioned one of them), and added at least a dozen new Facebook friends during the standoff.

Valdez had taken the woman hostage Tuesday evening when police tried to serve him with a felony drug warrant after a missed court appearance.

“I’m currently in a standoff … kinda ugly, but ready for whatever,” Valdez first wrote on his wall. “I love u guyz and if I don’t make it out of here alive that I’m in a better place and u were all great friends.”

Friends and family responded with more than 100 messages. At least one of them warned Valdez about police activity outside, to which he responded, “Thank you homie. Good looking out.”

After officers swarmed the room, Valdez shot himself in the chest with a handgun. The AP reported that he was in critical condition on Tuesday.

Valdez isn’t the first to check into Facebook during a crime. In 2009, a burglar logged into Facebook while robbing a house — and forgot to log out. Similarly, police used Facebook to track down the teenager who posted a “Should Obama be assassinated?” poll, and police caught a fugitive who had fled to Mexico using information from Facebook.

Unlike in these incidents, however, authorities believe Valdez’s Facebook communication gave him an advantage in the standoff. They are discussing whether his friends should be charged with obstruction of justice for interfering with a police investigation.



2 thoughts on “Gunman Updates Facebook During Standoff

  1. I agree – this is venturing into the “silly” territory. The mere fact that people are committing crimes and using social media as an outlet of expression and means of dialogue with other people while in the act of committing the crime is ridiculous in and of itself. As far as categorizing friends as obstructing justice seems like a far stretch but I suppose communicating with an individual while committing a criminal act is venturing into an unknown territory that social media invites being it is not being used in the most appropriate fashion. I could see how and why authorities would have an issue with this type of behavior and seek out criminal charges to those people that engage themselves while a crime is being committed. Again, having people engage in a dialogue while a crime is in progress could impede an investigation or in this case a standoff between authorities and the individuals in harms way. A could see the argument being made that social media could be seen as a dangerous tool that could escalate or worsen a situation like this. Secondly, why would people want to engage in this type of activity if they know a crime is being committed? Perhaps they feel the situation could be mitigated if positive communication/reinforcement is conveyed via social media given it is real time? Who knows – again, this is really bizarre.

  2. This armed man was mentally challenged. I think he was well aware of the situation that he was in. He was aware of the crime, the proximity of cops to the crime spot and also the consequences. I think that the friends did not express any desire nor encouragement to further the act or be party to the plotting of the act committed. However, the use of social media is suggestive of another great tool of communication, whether used positively or in a destructive sense

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