Three Suspects Arrested After Man Is Killed During Facebook Live 'Witnessed by Many'

One man is dead and three individuals are in police custody following a fatal shooting broadcast on Facebook Live.

On Tuesday, July 28, police in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan responded to “multiple calls of shots fired with a man laying on the ground.” When they arrived on scene, they found Terrill Smith “had been hit multiple times by gunfire” and took him to a local hospital. Smith died from his injuries.

“While Terrill streamed live from his Facebook page, the shooting was overheard/witnessed by many,” reads a release from the Washtenaw Sheriff’s Department. “Prior to being removed, the video had been shared numerous times and countless people were exposed to the reality of gun violence here in our community.”

“Although several have been taken into custody, the investigation is ongoing. We need the assistance of our community in order to identify and apprehend the other individuals responsible,” added authorities on Tuesday.

Last Friday, three people — two women and one man — were taken into custody related to the shooting. The two women — 41-year-old Martita Bonner and 25-year-old Jermia Castion — were charged with conspiracy to commit homicide/open murder. Their bonds are set at $1 million. Another 24-year-old male from the area was also arrested in Georgia, though the specific charges he’s facing and name were not revealed.

According to WDIV in Detroit, Smith was considered “somewhat of a local celebrity” for his Facebook Live videos about the Ypsilanti community, dubbed “Rells Corner.” He was filming one of those videos when he was killed, after he reportedly “started exchanging words with someone who was commenting” on the live.

“Now you are on here saying you are riding around with 60 shots,” Smith said at one point. “I don’t care if you have 100 shots, bro.”

After a car approached Smith’s house, he said, “Oh, we got action,” before he was heard getting shot — more than 30 times — off-camera. A neighbor could reportedly be heard calling 9-1-1 after the shooting. According to reports, the video was seen 37,000 times before it was removed by Facebook.

“Terrell was a comedian. He disrespected people and they got mad. Words can’t kill you … a gun can,” Smith’s mother, Genniece Smith, told Fox2Detroit. “God has the last say. But right now, the devil came and took my son.”

Anyone with additional information related to the shooting as been asked by the local PD to contact Detective Yeager at yeagerb@washtenaw.org or 734-476-9594 — or submit a tip anonymously to 734-973-7711 or provide a confidential tip to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SpeakUP.

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