Smartphone Users on Train Don’t Notice Boy Being Shot

College student gunned down on train, no one noticed due to usage of smartphones.

California college student, Justin Valdez was shot and killed on crowded train in San Francisco, Calif., and no one notice. You might ask, how could this be possible? The answer is terrifying. Everybody was too consumed with their smartphones and other mobile devices.

According to NBC News, District Attorney George Gascon confirmed on Wednesday, Oct. 9 that footage from a surveillance camera of the incident that occurred last month, showed a train full of passengers in close proximity to the gunman.

            The shooter is known to be 30 year old Nikhom Thephakaysone who delivered one fatal shot to Valdez, a sophomore at San Francisco State University, for “no apparent reason.” He was killed as he was walking off of the train at a station near the University.

“You can clearly see on the video that multiple people are paying attention to their cell phones; they’re texting, they’re talking,” said Gascon to reporters a couple of days following the incident which actually occurred Sept. 23. Since then the story has gained national media attention.

“No one notices that he’s brandishing the gun at several locations and everybody is in very close proximity, which is somewhat concerning,” he added.

Authorities said that immediately following the shots, Thephakaysone got off the train and proceeded to walk home. They are not putting the absorbed passengers at fault, although it is deeply concerning that so many people have become consumed with their devices that they are no longer aware of the impending danger that could be around them.

The following day Thephakaysone was linked to the crime as well as pointing his gun around at other locations the same night as the shooting. The police have taken him into custody after arresting him at his family home in San Francisco.

Police say that they found three firearms within the home, as well as $20,000 in cash and a backpack full of survival gear that included combat knives, a flashlight, razors and a first aid kit. They do not know why he may have had the paraphernalia.

Cailley Breckinridge is sophomore Telecommunications Major. This is her second semester writing for BUNow and she is currently the On-Campus Editor.