GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Three people are now charged with Kidnapping and Sexual Battery for an assault at a Gulfport home that was captured on Facebook Live. It happened late Tuesday night at a home on 7th Ave.
Graphic and disturbing video of the incident appeared to show a young woman being sexually and physically assaulted. While the original post was deleted, subsequent copies of the video were shared thousands of times. Because of the graphic nature of the video, WLOX News Now will not be showing any part of it or linking to any posts describing it.
According to Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania, the video that's still online has been viewed more than 48,000 times. He believes the violence that's often shared and spread through social media is the reason why incidents like this continue to happen.
"It speaks loudly about our culture," Papania said. "I wish people would look at just how warped our society has become. We videotape pain and suffering, and then we share it, and we view it over and over."
Haleigh Alexis Hudson, 19, of Gulfport, turned herself in to police shortly after 7 p.m. Ezzie Johnson, 17, of Gulfport, was taken into custody about an hour later. And Kadari Booker, 17, of Biloxi, was taken into custody late Wednesday night.
All three suspects are charged with Kidnapping and Sexual Battery, and are being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Facility. Johnson, who will be tried as an adult, is being held in lieu of a $400,000 bond, Hudson in lieu of a $400,000 bond, and Booker in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
Johnson is accused of shooting the Facebook Live video inside Hudson's home. Chief Papania said the investigation is ongoing and more charges and arrests are possible.
Chief Papania did praise the concerned members of the community who have been sharing information to help the investigation. If you have any information that could help detectives investigating the case, please call the Gulfport Police Department at 228-868-5959 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.