SACRAMENTO, CA - A young man was recovering Tuesday following an attempted suicide which was broadcast via webcam from his Sacramento home.
The man was chatting online with another young man from Camden, New Jersey prior to the incident. The two were instant messaging each other and using a video webcam when the young man from Camden, New Jersey who identified himself as "J.J." witnessed the Sacrmento man cutting himself with a razor blade.
The two had started talking on the phone Monday night, and the conversation had continued online into the early morning hours Tuesday. J.J. said the victim was suicidal for the better part of the conversation, leading up to the cutting incident that compelled him to call police.
"Suddenly it hit me. Someone needs to help him because if he kills himself, I am the only person who knows," J.J. said. "The guilt would have been on me."
J.J. called Sacramento police and gave them the only information about the young man he had, a name and a phone number. Sacramento police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said officers took that information and quickly located the victim. He was taken to the hospital and was expected to recover.
"This is an unique case in the sense that very seldom do we run into web-type things where it's being viewed by other people," Leong said. "Suicides happen, but very seldom while other people are watching."
J.J. said the man had been depressed because of his terrible childhood, and that he felt alone and unwanted. J.J. also said the young man seemed pleased that J.J. had called police, and was surprised that anyone would care that much to make the phone call for help.
In November 2008, a Florida teen made headlines after he killed himself in front of thousands of bloggers watching his webcam. He died in his bed from a drug overdose. Of the thousands who watched the live suicide, none called police until hours later, when it was too late.