Police say that an 18-year-old man by the name of Bryan Ramirez is dead after being shot in the back. Police have identified the suspect in the case as 19-year-old Talon Lowery. The incident took place at a gas station in Hall County, Georgia, about 55 miles northeast of Atlanta, on Thursday, November 2, just before 10 p.m. Eastern.
Police say that the suspect drove through the parking lot of the gas station in a Ford F-150 pickup truck and shot the victim from the vehicle, using his cell phone to film the whole thing. The suspect then posted the video footage of the shooting on social media.
It unclear if Ramirez was the intended target, as police don’t believe the two teens knew one another. An investigation is still ongoing at this time.
Anyone with information about this case should contact the Hall County Sheriff’s Office at (770) 531-6879.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Police Say Lowery Filmed the Shooting & Posted the Footage on Snapchat
Police had responded to a report of shots fired and were at the Texaco gas station located at 4110 Cleveland Highway when an investigator received a message from his daughter about an alarming Snapchat video that she saw. Those who have seen the video say that it shows the suspect shooting the victim using a rifle.
“While police was on the scene, a White County investigator contacted us to let us know his daughter had received a Snapchat video of Ramirez’s murder. To put up something like this on social media then to distribute it is unusual,” Hall County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Wilbanks told the media.
Snapchat is a popular app in which users send and receive photos and videos that only last a few seconds. Known as “the fastest way to share a moment,” Snapchat allows users to connect with one another via username, phone number, or “Snapcode.” In order to send and receive messages to and from other users, you must have one of these three things.
Police say that several of Ramirez’s friends received the Snapchat video, which suggests that Lowery had to be connected to those Snapchat users on the app, based on how the app works. At this time, it is unclear how the video circulated or how the victim’s friends might have been connected to Lowery.
2. Lowery Was Arrested & Has Been Charged with Murder
After seeing the Snapchat video of Ramirez’s murder, police were able to identify the suspect as 19-year-old Talon Lowery of Sautee, Georgia. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, White County officials said they were “familiar with the alleged shooter,” but did not elaborate.
Police found Lowery’s address where they say they found the F-150 pickup truck as well as the rifle that was used in the shooting.
Lowery was taken into custody and has been charged with murder, according to Fox 5.
Police are not sure if Lowery acted alone or if he had anyone else in the truck with him at the time of the shooting.
3. Police Don’t Believe that Lowery & Ramirez Knew Each Other
Ramirez worked at the Texaco station and was outside on a break, sitting at a picnic table, when he was shot. Authorities have not released many details of their investigation, including any known motive for the alleged murder
While an investigation is still pending at this time, police say that they do not believe that Lowery and Ramirez knew each other. This unknown connection, or lack thereof, may stifle law enforcement’s progress in determining a motive or other factors in the case.
“We do not think Ramirez and Lowery knew each other but we are still investigating,” Wilbanks told the media, adding that Ramirez hadn’t been “up to no good” at the time of the shooting.
4. Bryan Ramirez Recently Graduated High School
Police say that Ramirez (pictured left) was shot once, the bullet hitting him in the back. He was rushed to Northeast Georgia Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. A memorial for Ramirez has been set up outside the Texaco gas station where he was killed.
“We loved him as family here. This is very devastating,” Texaco manager Tina Smith told the Gainsville Times.
Ramirez recently graduated from North Hall High School. He was really well-liked and had a lot of friends.
“Everything he did, he did it with kindness. He did it with a smile, regardless if he was having a bad day or not,” his aunt Diana Peralta told the Gainsville Times. “There was about 30 of his friends last night at the hospital with us,” Peralta added.
The media spoke to a couple of people who knew Ramirez and who had seen the Snapchat video of the shooting.
“It’s pretty heartbreaking especially knowing someone and then waking up to find out he’s been shot outside of work it’s crazy,” Kevin Rail told Fox 5.
“I saw the video. It’s awful. Who would take someone’s life then record it and send it out?” Houston Wills also told the outlet.
5. This Is Not the First Time a Murder Has Been Documented on Snapchat
As technology has progressed over the years, so has social media. And while many people use sites like Facebook and Twitter to network and connect, others have used the sites to document horrific incidents, such as shootings. Just last month, for example, a man filmed himself committing suicide on Facebook Live.
Earlier this year, a man named Salvador Sanchez was accused of killing his friend, Maithem Alfuraiji, 20, whom police say was found beaten to death. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Sanchez posted part of the beating on Snapchat. In late September, Sanchez, 19, was in court. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
“According to testimony from Sanchez’s preliminary hearing in May, friends of the two men were alarmed by messages posted April 27 on Sanchez’s Snapchat page. The postings included an audio clip of Alfuraiji crying as Sanchez talked to him. Other images included Sanchez’s bloodied knuckles and blood-stained white clothes, as well as original rap lyrics about killing the victim. One reads, in part: ‘don’t you cry… at least in the arms of a friend is where u die,'” reports the San Diego Union Tribune.