Popular Twitch streamer Dr DisRespect abruptly ended his Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 stream today after someone fired shots at his home from a moving vehicle. He was beta-ing the franchise's first battle royale mode, Blackout.
Guy Beahm is the man behind the mulleted, abrasive streaming personality whose over-the-top entertainment antics have made him one of the most popular figures on the platform. Styled as more of a WWE type figure rather than a straightforward professional gamer, the self-titled "Face of Twitch" has over two million followers and attracted over 300,000 concurrent viewers when he made a return to streaming in February of 2018 after a two-month break. He originally took the time off to work on his marriage after he publicly admitted to cheating on his wife. The two reportedly resolved their issues and remained together raising their young daughter.
As reported by Kotaku, it was this family home that got hit by gunshots fired from a moving vehicle during Beahm's anticipated Call of Duty Black Ops: 4 stream earlier in the day. According to reports he abruptly got up from the Twitch stream and returned without his trademark costume to announce that his home had been shot at and an upstairs window had been broken. He also claimed that the incident was the second in as many days and that the house had been shot at from a moving vehicle the previous day as well.
I've got to end the broadcast right now, someone shot at our house. Broke the f-cking upstairs window. This is the second shot, someone shot yesterday, at our f-cking house and someone shot again right now, connected with the house, upstairs.
While there's no information about what could've motivated the shooting, if there were in fact back-to-back events yesterday and today, it seems unlikely this wasn't some kind of targeted event. Online personalities have always invited trolling and stalking like every celebrity figure, but the aggression inherent in firing into someone's home feels reminiscent of swatting incidents that have taken place over the past decade and a half. This incident also comes hot on the heels of the mass shooting at a Madden 19 tournament in Florida. The suspected shooter David Katz opened fire at the tournament after losing a game and shot and killed two fellow players, 22-year-old Elijah "Truboy" Clayton and Taylor “SpotMePlzz” Robertson, 28, before turning the gun on himself.
Aside from the gun violence that's become almost second nature to American life, both events speak to an increasingly antagonistic relationship celebrities have with their audiences. Given the increased access streaming and social media platforms offer to fans and the oftentimes toxic communities that can spring up around that access, it's tragic, but perhaps not surprising Beahm and his family find themselves literally under fire.