Texas mall shooting sparks debate on the need for graphic images to go viral

NOW: Texas mall shooting sparks debate on the need for graphic images to go viral

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The latest mass shooting at a mall in Texas, which left at least eight people dead, including the suspect, has prompted a nationwide debate on the circulation of graphic photos and videos of tragedies.

Some encourage people to watch and assess the situation for themselves, but others are trying to do everything in their power to not have to re-live the darkest moments of their life over and over again.

Nikeya Shumake opened up last September to CBS 58's Amanda Porterfield about her then-boyfriend shooting her at least 14 times in front of her children. It was all captured on video.

"I would like the whole video to be played so people can understand from my point of view, and from my kids' point of view; so they can actually see how we were feeling right during that moment," she said. "And to know that someone they call dad, someone that we once loved, to turn his back on us."

With an advanced warning, CBS 58 played it all. It now has over one million views on YouTube.

Andy Parker on the other hand, has been a loud advocate in wanting to take down the heartbreaking images that circulated all over social media in 2015 of his daughter's murder.

He wants to own its copyright and destroy that footage.

"I've been fighting this for seven years now and you know, there's gotta be some kind of standard of decency out there. People, families, they don't want to see that stuff, they don't want to see it circulating on social media," he said.

TV news reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman were killed by a former co-worker while reporting for a CBS affiliate station in Roanoke, Virginia. Video footage of the shooting — some of which was taken by the gunman —still resurfaces online to this day. Parker said he and his wife refuse to watch it.

"You can't yell fire in a theater, and that's what some of these people argue, that 'oh this is free speech,' well, it's not, it's not free speech, it's murder," he explained.

Many people say such images expose the reality of gun violence. Others argue that gruesome content should always have warning labels and be sought out by the individual, not blasted for everyone, including children, to see.

"If these videos proliferate and people do see this, this graphic violence you know, maybe it will strike a chord or, either that or people will get numb to it and that's my fear," Parker said.

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