Christopher Giles, an alleged obsessed fan from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was shot dead by Austin, Texas police after he broke into the home of two YouTube stars.
Gavin Free and Megan Turney are YouTube celebrities with an extensive following. Megan Turney, who vlogs under the name Meg Turney, has more than 340,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel. Free vlogs on channels with millions of followers, including one devoted to slow-motion videos. Christopher Eric Giles, 23, had driven all the way from Albuquerque to Austin to stalk and possibly murder the couple, although in the end they were unharmed, and he was shot dead by police.
What unfolded was a terrifying scene in which the YouTubers hid in their closet to avoid the gunman.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Giles Was Fond of Turney & Jealous of Free, Whom He Allegedly Wanted to ‘Die Alone’
Christopher Giles appears to have come to Austin, Texas because he developed a fixation with Turney and Free that police were able to document, according to KXAN-TV.
Giles “had numerous notes on his phone about Turney,” reports the television station. According to KXAN, authorities believe that Giles “developed a fondness of Turney yet resented Free for his lifestyle and success…Some of the notes allegedly said things like ‘I want Gavin Free to die alone, with no children.’”
“A search of Giles’ cellular phone identified various notations identifying Megan Turney and Gavin Free by name,” police wrote.
2. Giles Was a Single Loner Obsessed With Videogames
Giles fit the very definition of an obsessed loner, according to police documents. His life mostly consisted of videogames and YouTube, according to a search warrant obtained by KXAN.
“Albuquerque detectives said Giles lived alone, and often played video games and watched YouTube videos. According to a search warrant, officials seized two cellphones, a laptop, two tablets and an XBox from his home,” reported the television station, which added that authorities labeled Giles “single, lonely and disturbed.”
3. Giles Broke Into the Couple’s Home & Fired a Gun Inside
The situation was very serious. According to Kotaku.com, Megan Turney and Gavin Free “were forced to hide in their closet and call 911 last month after a fan armed with a handgun invaded their home,” and Giles fired at least one round from the weapon inside the home. Luckily the couple was able to call the police from inside the closet while Giles searched throughout the residence.
The attack occurred at 3:40 a.m. on January 23. “Turney and Free awoke to the sound of breaking glass and a gunshot,” according to the Albuquerque Journal. Neither Turney nor Free was wounded in the attack, but police arrived as Giles was backing out of the YouTube stars’ driveway, the newspaper reported, adding that police heard a gunshot emanate from the car and then opened fire on it.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, Giles shot at police before he was shot and killed by an officer and refused a command to raise his hands.
A police bullet killed Giles in the car. “Based on the footage seen it was apparent that Giles’ sole intent was to cause harm to someone who resides there,” a detective wrote, according to the newspaper, which wrote that surveillance footage shows Giles searching the home for the YouTube stars with his gun clutched in his hand.
4. Both Turney & Free Have an Extensive Following on YouTube
Recent videos of Meg’s on YouTube include those headlined My Butt As a Meme: Ask Meg, Would You Ever Pose Nude? and Zaku II Gundam Time Lapse. In addition to giving tips about relationships and other topics, Meg Turney shows an interest in anime and Japan. Her boyfriend is mentioned in videos, such as one titled “My Boyfriend Does My Voiceover: A make-up tutorial.”
Gavin Free vlogs on the YouTube Channel Rooster Teeth, which has more than 9 million subscribers.
A typical recent episode reads, “Join Gus Sorola, Gavin Free, Burnie Burns, and special guest Kirk Johnson as they discuss Star Wars, the best shows of 2017, flying incidents, and more on this week’s RT Podcast! This episode originally aired on January 15, 2018.” According to Dexerto, Gavin Free “is a popular British personality who both co-owns the YouTube channel The Slow Mo Guys and is involved with the Rooster Teeth content creators.”
The Slo Mo Guys page features slow-motion videos of various gags and reads, “Get ready for the ultimate in slow-motion 4K stunts! For the next 12 weeks, Gav and Dan will be releasing 48 different videos featuring slow motion footage so epic, they had to venture outside their backyard. The Super Slow Show features a whole new set, a bigger crew, an army of cameras, and most importantly, brand new lab coats.”
5. Giles Was a Sales Rep Who Lived in New Mexico
On Facebook, Giles mostly posted photos of himself wearing headphones. He wrote that he was “Outbound sales Representative” at a corporation in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, where he lived. He wrote that he was single. His public posts are otherwise hard to decipher and nondescript, although one makes reference to Jesus.
Gavin Free wrote a message to fans on Twitter after the frightening incident. “Hey everyone. I just wanted to say thanks for all the support and concern regarding the recent incident. It’s been a rough time for Meg and myself the last few weeks but we are doing ok. I want to give a huge thanks to @Austin_Police for the amazing response time. ❤️ you all.” he wrote.