An Albuquerque, New Mexico, man broke into the residence of YouTube celebrity couple Gavin Free and Megan Turney on Jan. 26, forcing them to hide in a closet and call 911.
Police arrived at the scene and an altercation ensued between the law enforcement officers and the perpetrator. The latter was shot dead within 10 minutes of the encounter. No harm came to either Free or Turney.
Christopher Giles, the fan-turned intruder, drove for 11 hours to reach his idol’s house in Austin, Texas, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Documents filed in the 2nd Judicial District Court revealed that Giles had “developed a fondness” for Turney and a deep-seated dislike for Free.
“A search of Giles’ cellular phone identified various notations identifying Megan Turney and Gavin Free by name,” a detective wrote in the documents. “Furthermore, threatening thoughts were recorded by Giles and directed toward Gavin Free, i.e., ‘I want Gavin Free to die alone, with no children.’”
While evidence pointed to the fact that Giles had invaded into the YouTube stars’ home to harm Free, Giles’ motive was not confirmed by the police as the investigation is still going on.
Following the incident, a search warrant was issued for Giles, who was described by the police as “single, lonely and disturbed.” The police raided Giles’ Northwest Albuquerque apartment a couple of days after the shooting, and took two cellphones, a laptop, two tablets and an XBox gaming system.
According to the police, Giles was “an avid player of video games and was known for watching YouTube videos that were centered on his hobby.”
A chilling security footage recovered by the Austin Police Department showed Giles entering Free and Turney’s house armed with a gun at 3:40 a.m. local time (4:40 a.m. EST).
“Based on the footage seen it was apparent that Giles’ sole intent was to cause harm to someone who resides there,” the detective wrote in the complaint.
Turney and Free woke up to the sound of broken glass and a gunshot. As Giles proceeded to scan the house for residents, the couple hid inside a closet in their bedroom and called emergency services. Eventually Giles gave up and left the house, backing his car out of the driveway, when police officers arrived at the scene. When they ordered him to stop, he fired his .45 caliber handgun at them.
One of the police officers returned fire and Giles was pronounced dead at the scene. The police suspect that Giles shot himself, but refused to confirm anything till the official cause of death is determined.
Free is the co-creator of “The Slow Mo Guys” and Turney is a cosplayer and former “Rooster Teeth” host with a popular YouTube channel. Both of them have collaborated on various videos that focus on gaming, anime and relationship advice. While Free has around 10 million YouTube subscribers, Turney has around 340,000 subscribers.
Following the incident, Turney took to Twitter to praise the quick action taken by the police.
“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,” she wrote.
An Albuquerque man broke into the residence of YouTube celebrity couple Gavin Free and Meghan Turner on Jan. 26, forcing them to hide in a closet and call 911. In this photo, view of the homepage of the YouTube website in Washington, May 15, 2007. Photo: Getty Images/ NICHOLAS KAMM