On Oct. 26, Jeffrey Antonio Langford reportedly posted a series of unnerving — and gory — live videos on Facebook that allegedly captured his mother’s final moments alive.
A man believed to be 24-year-old Langford whimpered as he told friends and family that his mother had shot herself. The man, who appeared to have blood on his face, captured the scene of the alleged shooting while seemingly narrating the final breaths of a woman thought to be his mother, who’s “slumped over” and seemingly barely clinging to life in the video.
“‘She shot herself right in front of me,’” the man told the camera.
The camera allegedly showed Langford’s mother, 45-year-old Graciela Laura Holker, gasping for breath, with what appeared to be blood dripping from her head and nose, according to a probable cause statement obtained by Oxygen.com.
“‘She’s not dead, I have to finish it,’” the man told his viewers in between frantic sobs. “I’ll not go to prison, I’m not going to jail."
Hours later, Langford was arrested on suspicion of murdering Holker. He was also booked on suspicion of obstruction of justice, as well as carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
Authorities haven’t yet officially pressed charges against Langford.
Police were notified to the situation on Saturday after a Facebook user phoned authorities. She told dispatchers she had been speaking with Langford on Facebook and that “he had said he was going to shoot himself.” Law enforcement detained Langford outside the apartment shortly after. Inside, investigators located his mother’s body.
Authorities first observed that Langford had a “reddish brown substance on his face and clothing” that appeared to be blood.
When police sat Langford down for questioning, he allegedly told them he and his mother “had been drinking” and that she took “18 Klonopin,” an anti-epileptic prescription drug. He claimed that before shooting herself, Holker took a knife to her throat, according to the document.
“He stated that she had first slit her throat with a knife and indicated the left side of her neck and said she had shot herself a total of three times in the head,” the probable cause statement stated.
He then told police he “put her head on a pillow,” “put Rosary beads on her neck,” and allegedly prayed over her, according to the statement.
However, police said that Langford’s account of where the shooting happened shifted during their interview with him. He allegedly flip-flopped between witnessing the shooting and telling authorities he had actually been outside the apartment when shots were fired.
Langford stated he didn’t immediately call 911 because he was “scared,” claiming he streamed the aftermath of the suspected shooting instead as a “call for help," according to the statement.
Police found Holker’s body sandwiched between the couch and coffee table in the apartment’s living room. A revolver was found in her right hand. However, following an inspection of the firearm, police determined Holker’s death “was not consistent with a suicide.”
The gun was partially loaded and its hammer was cocked, authorities said. The revolver, which appeared to have been fired three times, had six chambers, and contained three unspent bullets. Investigators said they found three additional casings in Langford’s room, away from his mother’s body, which matched the live rounds found in the gun. Detectives also found a suicide note.
Police said Holker had been shot at least once, but were unable to confirm if the woman had sustained knife wounds, as Langford claimed. Langford initially denied having touched the revolver, but later admitted he had handled the firearm because he was contemplating killing himself. A family member had called, he said, which prevented him from taking his life, the probable cause statement stated.
He later allegedly admitted he had shot his mother after the first Facebook video concluded, but couldn’t recall if he had fired multiple shots.
“He stated she began to seize, had rapid eye movement, and was snoring, but she was still alive and in pain,” the probable cause affidavit also stated. “Jeffrey stated he did not want her to be a vegetable, so he shot her once in the back of the head with the revolver while she was still alive.”
As of Tuesday, details as to what actually led to the shooting and what transpired in the apartment in the minutes before and after Langford pressed record, were murky. Police are investigating whether his mother's death was a flat-out murder, a suicide — or a mercy killing, as he suggested to detectives.
"Right now, there's an awful lot of evidence that needs to be scrutinized — forensically scrutinized," Sgt. Mitch Gwilliam, a spokesperson for North Salt Lake Police Department, told Oxygen.com.
Gwilliam expected it could take several weeks for Holker's autopsy and toxicology results come back.
"We need to scrutinize the Facebook live videos, we need to scrutinize the autopsy when it comes back, we need to scrutinize his statement and all of the additional evidence that we have to determine whether this was an actual suicide, homicide — or whether it was something in between," he added.
Regardless, the live stream, police said, will likely serve as a key piece of evidence for prosecutors if charges are pressed.
“The Facebook streaming evidence is a piece of evidence that the prosecutors are definitely going to look at,” Gwilliam, the North Salt Lake police spokesperson, said.
In the first video Langford allegedly posted, which has since been removed from Facebook, police believe Holker, who appeared to be breathing, was still alive.
While Langford allegedly documented the scene of his mother’s shooting in real-time, several of his puzzled friends watched in horror. Many tried to calm Langford down and urged him to call the police.
“I seen him pick [Holker] up and he was just hugging her and sobbing — I was so confused,” Cody Pena, a friend of Langford who witnessed the incident, told Oxygen.com.
The videos, two of which were still watchable on Langford’s Facebook page on Tuesday, have since been removed. They had been viewed thousands of times.
“You just see her blood on the right side of her head and it was just dripping down and you can tell there was some type of wound and then she gasped for air and I lost [it],” Pena described shakily. “She still had some color but she was going very pale. I could barely handle it.” “
Pena, 24, who said he had become close friends with Langford around the age of 19, was shocked over the allegations against his pal. He recalled Langford as devoted son and friend who was “always cracking jokes.”
“It’s honestly one of those big, bewildering things,” Pena said. “Honestly, his mom was one of the most loving people — super nice. No one would have thought... Jeff loved his mom, he thought the world of her, made sure she was taken care of.”
Pena also said that his friend, whose father had also previously died, was battling addiction issues. He described Langford as a “loose cannon,” a “pill”-user, and a “functioning” alcoholic, but said he had never known the 24-year-old to become physically violent.
Langford is being held without bail, according to online court records.
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