Bellevue Police Investigate Shooting Death Seen On Video Chat

A unique investigation is underway in Bellevue. A young man shot himself early Saturday morning, while in an online video chat room. Police believe when the 19-year-old shot himself, several people could have watched it happen.

"We've never had an investigation as viral as this. Where the reporting party is in one part of the country that got information from an individual from another part of the country that involved a situation that occurred here in Bellevue," said Bellevue Police Chief John Stacey.

A 911 call from Florida led Bellevue police to the quiet Castle Ridge subdivision Saturday around noon. The online Florida friend was worried the Bellevue teen may have shot himself.

Police found the 19-year-old dead in his bedroom.

"During the course of the evening in Florida, this young man was off the chat line and when he got back on in the morning, people were talking about this event that may have occurred," said Stacey.

People in the chat room were not only talking about it, they may have seen it, since the young man was online in a video chat. "It is unknown if it was an accident or if it was a suicidal type of thing," said Stacey.

Police believe others were online and saw what happened. Investigators would like to talk with them to try and find out what exactly happened.

They are finding that tracking them down on a world-wide scale is difficult. "Some of the individuals on this site are known by a web name and some times those web names don't relate to anything," said Stacey.

Police hope the eyes that may have seen this tragedy are limited, and that web cameras weren't recording. "My concern is for the family right now. This is a private matter and they've suffered enough trauma and to have this thing go out over the web and viral would be devastating."

Channel 6 News spoke to the family on Monday. They can't talk about the investigation at this time, because they don't want to interfere.

The victim has not been identified for the same reason, as police try and search out people that were in the chat room.

Since the investigation is such large scale, Bellevue police have enlisted help from computer forensic experts at other law enforcement agencies.

Investigators are going through the teen's computer to see if there's any information saved on there that could help them understand what happened.


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