A 33-year-old Army veteran from Mississippi who served in Iraq shot himself in the head live on Facebook — and social media sites are still scrambling to remove the harrowing footage, which went viral more than a week ago, according to reports.
Ronnie McNutt, who worked at a Toyota plant in Blue Springs, New Albany, killed himself in front of his computer on Aug. 31 during a livestream on Facebook, the Daily Star reported.
There were unconfirmed reports that McNutt had lost his job and broken up with his girlfriend.
In the days since, the horrifying footage has been shared on multiple social media platforms, including TikTok, where it reportedly ended up on the video-sharing app’s “For You” trending homepage.
A flood of social media users have expressed their alarm at stumbling on the clip and warned others to avoid watching the bearded vet commit suicide.
“If you see this guy on your FYP [For You page] please scroll up immediately, it’s very gruesome and I highly suggest you stay away from TikTok for a while,” one user said on Twitter, according to the Daily Star.
“I was scrolling TikTok and suddenly there’s a video of a guy that killed themselves with a shotgun and I am seriously warning you DO NOT watch it DO NOT SEARCH FOR IT because it’s very terrifying and gory so pls BE CAREFUL god damn I’m shaking,” another user said.
The man’s friends also posted messages conveying their futile attempts to stop him from taking his life.
“Please say a prayer right now for the family of Ronnie McNutt,” one wrote, according to the Sun.
“I tried but apparently it wasn’t quick enough to reach him,” another said.
McNutt was a member of Celebration Church Tupelo, which confirmed his death on its Facebook page, the Daily Star reported.
“In the midst of a sudden tragedy that occurred last night, we grieve with the McNutt Family during this time because passing of our brother in Christ, Ronnie McNutt,” it said.
“Ronnie will be missed by all who loved and knew him. He was very caring, committed, loyal, dependable, and eccentric. He served his church faithfully and was loved by many,” the church continued.
“Although events surrounding his death were tragic, we take comfort in our Creator, believing that because of Ronnie’s confession and conversion as a believer in Christ Jesus, he is currently before our loving Father.”
Facebook said the gruesome video was removed the day it was streamed, the Mirror reported.
A TikTok rep told the Daily Star: “Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide.
“We are banning accounts that repeatedly try to upload clips, and we appreciate our community members who’ve reported content and warned others against watching, engaging, or sharing such videos on any platform out of respect for the person and their family,” the spokesperson said.
“If anyone in our community is struggling with thoughts of suicide or concerned about someone who is, we encourage them to seek support, and we provide access to hotlines directly from our app and in our Safety Center,” the rep added.