PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — We have new information about an argument over snow shoveling that turned tragic.
For the first time, we’re hearing from a local teen who ran to help his two neighbors who had just been shot. And he’s also speaking out about video of the shooting that went viral, leading many of you to call for social media companies to take it down.
Eyewitness News wants to point out that we will not be showing the video out of respect for the family and neighbors. We spoke with the young man in the video who watched it all unfold.
“We heard shots go off, but we didn’t necessary know what it was,” Eyewitness 16-year-old Gary Mitchell said.
Mitchell recounts the moments a week ago when James and Lisa Goy were shot by their neighbor, Jeffery Spaide multiple times outside their Plains Township home on West Bergh Street.
“We came up and saw her laying in the road and I was like ‘oh she must of fell or slipped on the ice or something because the road was all icy and snowy’,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell says he and his friend rushed to help the couple before realizing they were shot multiple times. In the video it’s at this moment Spaide walks back to his garage to retrieve a rifle.
“We ran to the other side of the car and looked and he was laying on the ground and I could see he was covered in blood, he was gasping for air,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell says the Goy’s neighbors told the teens to get inside and call 911.
“We heard more shots while we were down in the basement trying to get ahold of 911,” Mitchell said.
Shortly after Plains Township Police responded to the scene, Spaide killed himself inside his home. Since the incident, surveillance video from the victims’ house was leaked and shared across several social media sites.
“The kid that was with me actually texted me and said ‘yo the video got leaked’. The camera was from the neighbor’s house and I was like ‘you’re kidding me’. He said ‘no’. He sent me the link and I watched the video and I was like how? How did someone get their hands on the video?
I reached out to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Wordstarhiphop who all had the video circulating.
Facebook and YouTube were the only ones to response to our request for comment.
YouTube has removed the video from its site and released a statement to Eyewitness News: “There is no place on YouTube for this kind of violent content. We’ve spent the last several years investing in tools and policies to help us quickly remove content that violates our policies, such as machine learning technology that now automatically detects over 90% of the videos we remove from YouTube before a human ever reports it to us,” said Alex Joseph, a YouTube spokesperson.
Facebook says quote: “We do not want this content on Facebook and remove it when we become aware of it. We have removed the violating content from a surveillance camera and use technology to detect and remove copies and stop it from spreading.”
“When we were first coming out seeing him walk back into his house and I saw his handgun in his hand. But after the second time I didn’t see him there. I don’t remember seeing him there until I saw the video,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell says he’s coping with what happened by talking about it.
“It’s better to talk about stuff like that then hold it in and like be upset about it,” Mitchell said.
Sunday Eyewitness News spoke with Dr. Matthew Berger. He’s a psychiatrist. We asked him how people should deal with watching a video so graphic and disturbing plus, what people should do if they find themselves in a dispute with someone and how to de-escalate the situation.
“There is no point in getting into escalating situations over honestly minor or trivial things. Lets all be adults and settle down and walk away from these kings of things. One of the things we’ve learned is you want to talk about it in a safe secure setting but then you want to try and let it go and one of the problems with watching things on videos over and over again, it doesn’t allow that normal coping mechanism of suppression to occur,” Dr. Berger said.
Dr. Berger reminds us all to walk away from situations or call 911 to intervene.