A YouTube celebrity couple were targeted by a gunman who broke into their Texas home with the “intent to cause them harm” before he died from a gunshot at the scene.
Popular British YouTube vlogger Gavin Free, 29, and his American girlfriend Megan Turney, 30, were awoken in the early hours of 26 January to the sound of broken glass and somebody walking around their property.
Christopher Giles, described by police as “single, lonely and disturbed”, travelled for 11 hours from New Mexico to the couple’s home hundreds of miles away in Austin.
The 23-year-old had more than a thousand notes on his phone about the YouTube personalities, which police say contained “threatening thoughts” about Mr Free.
He “developed a fondness of Turney yet resented Free for his lifestyle and success” a detective wrote in court documents seen by the Albuquerque Journal.
“I want Gavin Free to die alone, with no children,” said one note.
Security footage showed the intruder wandering around the property at around 3.40am with a gun in his hand searching for the couple.
“Based on the footage seen, it was apparent that Giles’ sole intent was to cause harm to someone who resides there,” continued the detective.
The terrified couple called police while hiding in a bedroom closet and when Giles left the property he was confronted by officers who were responding to the emergency call.
Giles then fired his gun, with a police officer returning fire. It is still unclear if he died from police gunfire or a self-inflicted wound.
Oxfordshire-born Free is one half of The Slow Mo Guys, a YouTube channel featuring slow motion videos of scientific experiments and stunts which has more than ten million subscribers.
American YouTuber Turney is a well-known cosplayer and gaming vlogger who has more than 300,000 subscribers.
Police added Giles was an “avid player of video games and was known for watching YouTube videos that were centered on his hobby”.
Both YouTubers thanked police for their quick response to the incident and fans for their messages of support.
“I just wanted to say thanks for all the support and concern regarding the recent incident,” wrote Free. “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.”
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.
— Gavin Free (@GavinFree) February 13, 2018
“Thank y’all so, so much for each and every kind message today and a special thank you to the @Austin_Police for their quick response that night and their ongoing support during this difficult time. Heart you guys so much,” tweeted his partner.
Thank y’all so, so much for each and every kind message today and a special thank you to the @Austin_Police for their quick response that night and their ongoing support during this difficult time. Heart you guys so much. ♥️
— Meg Turney (@megturney) February 13, 2018
The incident happened two weeks before fellow YouTube personality Logan Paul shared a video of an intruder he discovered in his home who he found lying on his couch charging his phone.
After entering a no contest plea for aggravated trespass this week, the 20-year-old was sentenced to 30 days in jail, TMZ reports.
In the wake of the incident, the 22-year-old Ohio native purchased a number knives and weapons for his protection, proudly showcasing them in a vlog.
He also increased his personal security, warning viewers: “Do not break into my house because next time, you saw the knives, I will stab you.”
He added: “We’re going to beef up our security, we’re getting armed security. We’re increasing the cameras around our house, we’re doubling it basically, so we’re going to have 40 cameras around the property.”
Last year, PewDiePie, one of the world’s biggest YouTube stars, urged fans to stop visiting his Brighton home citing privacy concerns.
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