Three teens have been arrested in Phoenix for allegedly shooting a photographer 9 times earlier this month after asking him to take their photo, and it was the photos the victim took that led police straight to the suspects.
ABC15 reports that the unnamed 33-year-old victim had visited Encanto Park with his camera and tripod at around 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 12th. He had decided to shoot photos in the park after noticing that it has a lake.
The three teens then approached the man and asked him to take their photo. After initially stating that he charges $20 for photos, the photographer agreed to shoot a portrait for free.
But after shooting the portraits, and while livestreaming his evening on Facebook Live, the photographer heard the teens use a racial slur when speaking to him.
“My man, you can’t say the N-word,” the photographer responded. “You’re not black.”
When the teens continued to use the slur, the photographer again asked them to stop, and that’s when two of the suspects pulled out guns and shot the victim 9 times.
The whole attack was captured on the photographer’s livestream and later broadcast on the news as well (warning: it’s tough to watch):
Although the photographer suffered critical injuries, he was still able to phone 911 himself, and he’s expected to make a full recovery.
The suspects apparently didn’t remember that he had taken clear photos containing their faces, and they left him in the park with his camera and memory card untouched. Investigators say those photos helped police quickly track down the three teens, two of whom still had handguns with them at the time of the arrest.
“I’m here because of the blessing of God,” the photographer tells ABC15. “I’m here because I have a purpose on earth.
“I would just ask them why? Why they did it? I was nothing but nice to them.”