An image of a man drinking beer and flipping off the shooter in Las Vegas has been widely shared in the wake of the massacre.

11Alive news partner WWL wanted to verify if it’s real.

The picture began landing on hundreds of Facebook feeds. The picture has become symbolic of the American spirit in the face of extreme danger as it’s made its way across the internet.

One Facebook user commented on the photo, “"This dude flipped off the shooter with beer in his hand. Merica."

Unfortunately, photos and videos can be manipulated. However, WWL reporters found out the photo actually came from a video that caught more of the chaos on Sunday night.

"I certainly understand why he would get up and do that," Andrew Larimer, editing specialist with Fat Happy Media, said. "It seems like he would be pretty angry and have no other way of reacting to the shooter,”

Larimer said the video and photo seem authentic.

“This seems pretty real to me, given the light, and the way the crowd is reacting," he said. "The way that he cast this shadow on this guy, it would be very hard to fake. It's hard to fit somebody specially in amongst the crowd.”

The best source to tell if the video was real is Shaun Hoff, the man who shot the video. The night of the shooting he and his wife were near the front of the stage.

"I felt it was important people saw what it was like to be there in case anything happened to us,” Hoff said.

So, WWL can verify that the photo is real.

Later in the video, the man did duck down, but for a moment, whether he is considered brave, foolish or had too much to drink, the man’s gesture of defiance has become symbolic to a nation reeling from an act of unspeakable horror.


Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.