Facebook Live Killing of Dominican Journalists Leads to Arrest of 3 Men


Investigators at the offices of the FM radio station 103.5 radio station inSan Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic, on Tuesday.

Orlando Barria/European Pressphoto Agency

Three men have been arrested in the Dominican Republic after two radio journalists were shot and killed during a Facebook Live broadcast on Tuesday, according to local news reports.

Gunmen opened fire while one journalist, Luís Manuel Medina of Milenio Caliente was reading the news at the FM radio station 103.5 in a shopping center in San Pedro de Macorís, east of Santo Domingo, the capital.

In a video uploaded to YouTube, shots can be heard in the background as Mr. Medina continues reading. A woman is heard yelling off camera, “Shots! Shots! Shots!”


Family and friends mourned the journalists Luís Manuel Medina and Leo Martínez in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic, on Feb. 14.

Orlando Barria/European Pressphoto Agency

He looks up from the screen, then the broadcast is abruptly cut.

His producer, Leo Martínez, also a director of Milenio Caliente (Hot Millennium), was shot and killed in an adjacent office.

A woman identified in media reports as a station secretary was seriously injured in the attack and hospitalized, the authorities said. The police said the motive for the killings was unclear.

“The investigations have begun, and we will try, with all the means in our powers, to reach the truth,” Attorney General Jean Rodriguez told the local media.

The killings of journalists are rare on the island, but some say they have received death threats and harassment in recent years, particularly over their coverage of the country’s immigration debate and for denouncing what they see as government hostility and persecution of Dominicans of Haitian descent.

The shootings also highlighted the challenges confronting Facebook after the live-streaming service was introduced for all users in April and a series of fatal shootings unfolded thereafter — a development the company is still struggling to cope with.

On Tuesday in Chicago, a 2-year-old boy and a man were killed and a pregnant woman was wounded in a shooting in Chicago that was caught on Facebook Live, the authorities said.

In June, Antonio Perkins, 28, of Chicago inadvertently broadcast his own killing live on Facebook: He was fatally shot while taking his friends during a quiet evening in his neighborhood.

In July, Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn., and his stunned girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook, where millions saw the video.

That same month, three men in Norfolk, Va., were left with life-threatening injuries after they were shot while one was streaming video on Facebook of the group hanging out in a car.

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