San Francisco Commuters Missed a Murder By Staring at Their Phones

Train commuters did not notice a gunman because they were distracted by their personal devices

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A man raised a .45-caliber pistol several times and pointed it across the aisle on a crowded San Francisco Muni train. Not one of the dozens of passengers looked up from their phones and tablets until the man shot a San Francisco State student getting off the train, a security camera on the train shows, according to SFGate.

Nikhom Thephakaysone allegedly killed 20-year-old Justice Valdez in an apparently random encounter in a crime that may have been prevented had commuters looked up from their phones.

“These weren’t concealed movements—the gun is very clear,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “These people are in very close proximity with [the shooter], and nodody sees this. They’re just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot. They’re completely oblivious to their surroundings.”