US gossip website TMZ has come under fire after publishing video footage of a man being shot dead outside a Hollywood nightclub, a move branded “disgusting” by the victim’s family.
The two-minute video shows a brawl unfolding outside the Empire nightclub before a man fires two shots from a gun.
The victim, 19-year-old Andre Lowe, who was wearing jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt, is then seen lying face down on the ground.
Los Angeles man Robert Earl Thomas III was arrested in Las Vegas on Wednesday night (local time) in connection with the shooting.
A man said to be Mr Lowe’s uncle has criticised the website for posting the video, which appeared under the headline “Clubgoer shot dead (video).”
"These people (TMZ) have no regard for the loved ones affected by this tragedy. I understand freedom of press but the line has to be drawn somewhere,” he said.
But the family’s pleas have fallen on deaf ears, with TMZ unashamedly promoting the video’s graphic contents.
“A man was shot dead outside a Hollywood nightclub early Sunday morning in the throes of a massive brawl,” the website’s description of the video read.
“And our photog captured it all.”
The video has been viewed more than 19,000 times on Youtube and shared on numerous other websites.
A petition on website Change.org calling for an apology from TMZ has so far attracted 1,208 signatures.
Author: Sylvia Varnham O'Regan, Approving editor: Emily O'Keefe