A disturbing Facebook Live video shows the tragic moment when police say a man was accidentally shot in the head on Easter Sunday. 26-year-old Devyn Holmes, of Houston, Texas, was in the car with a woman, believed to be 25-year-old Cassandra Nickcole Damper, and another man who were playing with two guns when Holmes was shot at approximately 2:20 a.m, according to authorities.
As of Monday night, Holmes was reportedly in critical condition on life support at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston.
Damper stands accused of destroying evidence by wiping her hands of gunshot residue, and charges against her have been upgraded to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
There is also an alarming screenshot circulating between Holmes’ and the other man in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, which has left many wondering if the shooting was really an accident or indeed intentional. In addition, authorities say Damper initially lied about what happened and claimed Holmes had shot himself in the head.
Heavy spoke with the Houston Police Department, and a close family friend of Holmes who said his condition was improving.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say She Accidentally Shot Holmes in the Head
According to authorities, Damper was in the car along with Holmes and another man for approximately nine minutes before the alleged accidental shooting took place, ABC 13 reported.
You can watch the footage below, but it is graphic and may not be suitable for all audiences. In the video, the man can be seen being shot in the head, and his head slumps to the side as blood is seen spraying from the gunshot wound. Heavy has blurred the video after the shot is fired, but an uncensored version can be seen here.
“You’re making me nervous,” Holmes could be heard saying in the video, which was captured outside of a Valero gas station on Almeda and Southmore in Houston.
“It ain’t got no clip, bud,” a man seated in the back of the vehicle states in the video. “Hey, where you from again…?”
“You see what we doing to lying a*s hoes, we draw down, we draw down on dem hoes…say something bi*ch!,” Damper says only seconds before she shoots a bullet into Holmes’ head.
“Oh my God,” a voice says before Damper and the other man quickly exit the vehicle.
2. A Chilling Post Involving Holmes Was Posted the Day Prior to the Shooting, & Police Initially Reported a ‘Man Shot Himself in Head’
In a chilling Facebook post dated the day before the shooting took place, “Cadillac Coleman,” whose profile posted the Facebook Live shooting, says “I got one for you trick.” Holmes replies, “Fukk u,” to which Coleman says, I’ll smash you boy.”
Police have not identified the man, and also haven’t said if he will face charges.
Holmes and Coleman were listed as friends on Facebook at the time of publishing.
“This sure looks suspicious after what transpired,” Jah King replied to the post after the shooting.
Heavy spoke with Houston Police Department (HPD) Public Information Officer John Cannon, who said investigators are looking into all angles. Cannon told Heavy:
Homicide investigators are looking into all information. The only thing we can do on the HPD side is to confirm if those are the things we are doing, including checking into that, and being aware of that post that he [Coleman] had made…it will go to the Harris County grand jury and they’re the ones who are going to decide once all of that evidence is gathered as to whether or not there will be additional charges filed.
Initially on Twitter, Houston Police tweeted that a “man shot himself in [the] head.”
However, that status was later updated with the following: “UPDATE: We are aware of the video circulating on social media. The woman in the video has been charged w/ tampering/fabricating evidence. @HarrisCountyDAO will refer the case to a grand jury for determination of other possible charges.”
Many are not satisfied with the initial findings by police, and the screenshot showing the conversation between Cadillac Coleman and Holmes is beginning to circulate. Neisha Baddie wrote:
I found out what happened, dude in the back, Cadillac Coleman, set the dude up n the front seat Devyn Holmes He had beef with him the day before and you can see him nod to girl cassandra damper to pull the trigger. He threatened dude on fb the day before….but they tryna say it was an “accident”??♀️
“The disturbance appears to be kids playing with guns,” HPD Det. John Roberts stated, according to Fox 5.
3. Detectives Say She Tried Destroying Evidence by Wiping Her Hands of Any Gunshot Residue, & Initially Told Police Holmes Shot Himself
Damper and the second man were later questioned by authorities, during which investigators bagged and tested their hands for gunshot residue.
Police say Damper tried to destroy evidence by wiping off any gunshot residue that would have been present. She was subsequently arrested and charged with tampering or fabricating evidence. However, police announced April 4 that those charges were upgraded to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A grand jury will determine if the woman will face further charges, police said.
Damper appeared in court April 4, as seen in the video below:
Authorities said the woman initially lied about what happened, claiming that Holmes put the gun to his own head before pulling the trigger, ABC 13 reported.
Damper was born on June 2, 1992, as shown in the jail record above. Her Facebook pages, which have since been deleted, showed that she lived in Houston.
In one profile, Damper went by the name “Sandy Dee,” and Holmes was listed among her friends. The exact relationship between the two is not known at this time.
Both Facebook accounts were removed following the tragedy.
Damper does not appear to have any other active social media accounts, however she can be seen in a Youtube video playing music alongside a woman, dated February 24, 2014:
“Margaret taught music where Casandra attended school,” the video is captioned. “It was Parker Elementary in Houston. Margaret knew her in Kindergarten and then started teaching the dulcimer to her in the third grade.”
4. A Close Family Friend Said Holmes’ Condition Is Improving, & He Is 1 of 2 Men Shot While Being Live Streamed Within a 24-Hour Period
Holmes’ family and friends are asking for prayers, a source close to the family told Heavy, adding that the tragedy has brought the area together. The victim was reportedly in critical condition on life support as of Monday evening at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, but he was said to be improving as of Tuesday.
“He is improving,” Roxanne Holmes, who identified herself as a close family friend, told Heavy April 3. “This tragic event with Devyn made Galveston County where he’s from come together as one, to unite and be there and pray for our own. All we gotta say is DON’T PLAY WITH GUNS THEY ARE NOT TOYS.”
Asked if she believed the shooting was an accident, Roxanne said she “cannot speculate,” and asked that prayers continue for Holmes.
Holmes’ father said on Facebook that he was alert and responding to commands April 2:
In a heartwarming post dated April 4, the news became even more enlightening. Allen Tyler posted:
Good morning everyone,I just want to say the prayers, love, testimonies are extraordinary from my friends as well all the people from all over the world that have reached out to me and my family in this time in my son’s life. Thank you very very kindly and much and continue to know that we extremely and immensely appreciate the love.He’s on his road to recovery and your love and genuine concerns make that process all the more smooth. God bless you all.
“To me, he’s my backbone,” Kendric Holmes, Devyn’s brother told ABC 13. “To his whole family, whenever problems go down, he’ll be right there to pick us all up.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Devyn’s “medical expenses and future care.” At the time of publishing, $4,792 had been raised out of a $100,000 goal. You may donate to the fund by clicking here.
Holmes’ was one of two men shot via live social media streaming within a mere 24-hour period.
On April 2, police say an 18-year-old man from Detroit, Michigan, was shot in the head and killed, and the tragedy was streamed live through Instagram.
The man has not yet been identified, according to The Detroit News. He was said to have been home in the 17600 block of San Juan in northwest Detroit when an 18-year-old man allegedly shot him in the head.
“The suspect states he accidentally discharged a rifle, hitting the victim in the head,” Detroit police spokesman Dontae Freeman stated on Tuesday.
The suspect and victim were reportedly flashing money and guns before the shooting took place at approximately 11:55 p.m. Monday. The victim was dead by the time paramedics arrived at the scene, and the alleged shooter was taken into custody. The investigation is ongoing.
At a news conference speaking about school threats, Detroit Police Chief James Craig addressed the shooting. “(Social media) is not a toy,” he stated. “Let’s be safe. If you see something, say something.”
5. The Atrocity Has Caused Outrage Via Social Media, & Facebook Has Spoken Out in the Past After Live Videos Took Place on the Platform
The public is outraged at the alleged accidental shooting, and many are taking their frustrations to social media.
“The girl that shot Devyn Holmes on live got arrested for tampering w/ evidence bc she tried to wipe the gun residue off her hands… ?,” @Kaprieee tweeted:
“I hope that Cassandra Damper bitch goes to prison, that video is the most disturbing and saddest thing I’ve seen,” @brianaalyn wrote. “Idk why bi*ches think they are so hard with guns thinking they are popping and shit like you are dumb af.”
Facebook has issued statements in the past regarding previous graphic, Facebook Live videos.
As a result of this terrible series of events, we are reviewing our reporting flows to be sure people can report videos and other material that violates our standards as easily and quickly as possible. In this case, we did not receive a report about the first video, and we only received a report about the second video — containing the shooting — more than an hour and 45 minutes after it was posted. We received reports about the third video, containing the man’s live confession, only after it had ended.
We disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, and two hours after receiving a report of any kind. But we know we need to do better.
In addition to improving our reporting flows, we are constantly exploring ways that new technologies can help us make sure Facebook is a safe environment. Artificial intelligence, for example, plays an important part in this work, helping us prevent the videos from being reshared in their entirety. (People are still able to share portions of the videos in order to condemn them or for public awareness, as many news outlets are doing in reporting the story online and on television). We are also working on improving our review processes. Currently, thousands of people around the world review the millions of items that are reported to us every week in more than 40 languages. We prioritize reports with serious safety implications for our community, and are working on making that review process go even faster.
Keeping our global community safe is an important part of our mission. We are grateful to everyone who reported these videos and other offensive content to us, and to those who are helping us keep Facebook safe every day.
This story will be updated as information becomes available, please check back.