San Antonio Police Chief William McManus today called out social media, after three teenagers were shot early this morning in a fight that detectives say was the result of challenges made on Facebook, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Two groups met in the middle of Seacomber Street, which is off Five Palms Drive, about midnight for a 'staged fight.' But one of the groups brought guns to the fistfight, and opened fire on the other group of teenagers, wounding three, one critically.
"I think social media can be a very dangerous thing," McManus said. "I don't let my kids on it. I have three young children and they are not allowed to mess around with social media."
In fact, McManus blamed Facebook and other social media sites, in part, for the spike in violent crime and drive by shootings seen in the city over the past two years. He says challenges frequently issues on line are answered with gunfire, as happened this morning.
"The thing that sticks in my craw is the fact that you have people doing things on social media that are so risky," McManus said. "If you think that you are challenging somebody to a fight and it is going to be fisticuffs and that's about it, you are being very naive."
In addition, he says if you make threats in public, you have no control over who will answer those threats.
"I think it can create a lot of problems, especially for young kids who may not know what they are getting themselves into by getting on social media and getting involved in some type of dispute with other persons," he said.
McManus said at the very least, parents should closely monitor their kids' social media activity, especially during summer vacation.
The two teens who opened fire on the group this morning remain at large but police know who they are...because they made threats on social media.