WINGATE, N.C. — Police are searching for an armed suspect after a man was shot to death Monday morning in Wingate, North Carolina, while streaming on Facebook Live, authorities said.
Officials with Union County Emergency Medical Services said the shooting happened around 10 a.m. in Wingate.
Authorities identified the victim as 55-year-old Prentis Robinson.
Robinson, an Atlanta musician, was seen on Facebook Live complaining about a family member stealing one of his three cellphones.
Viewers of his Facebook Live could see him stopping at the Wingate Police Department to report the theft. After he left the Police Department, he walked up a hill toward his home on Booker Street. Robinson exchanged a few words with another man and then there is gunfire.
Wingate Police Chief Donnie Gay was at a loss for words, noting that the deadly shooting happened moments after the man left the police station.
"I'd just spoke to him. It was, I just ... it's hard to say anything about that. I just got through talking to him," Gay said.
Robinson was found lying facedown in the street.
WSOC-TV spoke to Charles Baker, who knew Robinson for more than 30 years. He couldn't believe that someone could just shoot and kill Robinson.
"That just unreal for somebody to have that kind of heart to just walk out in the open like that and kill a man. That's just... It's nonsense," Baker said.
The deadly shooting caused a lockdown at Wingate University, which is less than a mile from the shooting scene. Wingate Elementary School was also placed on lockdown.
No shots were fired on campus but the shooting left students, teachers and staff members on edge.
Celestia Randolph told WSOC-TV that she and other students huddled in a teacher's office during the lockdown.
Victoria Shoaf saw police in bulletproof gear with rifles outside her dorm window.
"I just prayed ‘cause that's the only thing I could do," she said.
The man seen in the Facebook Live has not been arrested. Wingate University tweeted that police said the suspect is armed with a long gun. Authorities described him as a black man wearing a blue and black windbreaker and brown Timberland boots.
Wingate police said the Union County Sheriff's Office and the State Bureau of Investigations are assisting with the investigation.
University officials set up counselors for students who needed to talk about the lockdown and the fear they experienced when they believed there was an imminent threat.
Cox Media Group