How Christopher Giles a video games junkie came to target YouTube stars Megan Turney and Gavin Free. A fan becomes unhinged.
Christopher Gilles a 23 year old X-box geek and self absorbed YouTube fan has been identified as the individual who was fatally shot at the hands of police after ‘bursting’ into the Texas home of a Youtube celebrity couple he’d become infatuated with.
The Albuquerque Journal reported Giles, 23, driving 11 hours from his Albuquerque home in New Mexico to the Austin home of Megan Turney and Gavin Free on January 26.
The couple are best known for their content on anime and slow motion videos on their each respective YouTube channels.
Court documents cited by the media outlet, described the intruder as a ‘single, lonely and disturbed,’ man who had ‘developed a fondness’ for Turney and an intense dislike of her boyfriend Free.
A search of Giles’ cellphone revealed more than a thousand notes about the couple, including Gilles antipathy towards the boyfriend over his ‘lifestyle and success’.
Noted court documents in part, ‘Furthermore, threatening thoughts were recorded by Giles and directed toward Gavin Free, i.e. ‘I want Gavin Free to die alone, with no children”.
Giles broke into the couple’s home at about 3:40 a.m., after shooting out a glass door with a .45 handgun he had brought with him. The couple hid in a closet and called 911 as Giles searched their home — but eventually gave up and walked back to his car.
Christopher Giles obsessed in his make believe world:
It was at this time that Austin police arrived to find Giles backing out of the driveway in his Lincoln sedan, ordering the man to stop only for Giles to fire off a gunshot, which in turn led to him being shot at in return by retaliating officers. Giles was pronounced dead at the scene with a .45-caliber handgun recovered near his hand according to a search warrant. Free and Turney were not injured.
In a press briefing the day of the shooting, Austin Police Department Assistant Chief Troy Gay said that two officers were there but that only one fired.
A preliminary autopsy found that Christopher Giles may have shot himself, but it did not rule out the possibility that a police bullet killed him.
Detectives reviewed security footage from inside the home that showed Giles searching the residence for Free and Gurney with a gun in his hand.
‘Based on the footage seen it was apparent that Giles’ sole intent was to cause harm to someone who resides there,’ court documents noted.
An investigation by Albuquerque Police Department detectives led to the discovery of Giles being an ‘avid player of video games and was known for watching YouTube videos that were centered on his hobby.’
Two cellphones, a laptop, two tablets and an Xbox gaming system were seized from Giles’ home.
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 disconnect between YouTube stars and their fans…and haters.
Following their ordeal, both Turney, 30, and Free, 29, declined to respond to media overtures for comments. That said the couple thanked their fans on twitter for supporting them throughout the investigation.
‘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,’ Turney wrote on Monday. ‘Heart you guys so much.’
Turney, whose YouTube channel has more than 341,000 subscribers, posts content on a variety of topics, including anime, relationship advice and cosplaying — or dressing up like popular characters in elaborate costumes.
Free, originally from the UK, meanwhile, is a collaborator of a YouTube channel called ‘The Slow Mo Guys,’ with creator, Daniel Gruchy, which has more than 10 million followers. The channel features slow-motion videos of new technology or unorthodox experiments using high-speed cameras. The show’s most popular video shows Free trying to deflate a giant 6-foot water balloon with his body. The clip has over 169 million views.
The couple’s episode follows that of other YouTube celebrity icons who have had to grapple with unwanted attention and intrusion following their new found celebrity status that the social media outlet has since conjured to would be stars outside of traditional media outlets.
Although Free and Turney were unharmed, other YouTubers have died at the hands of obsessive fans, including, YouTuber and “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimmie was shot and killed by an obsessive fan while signing autographs in Orlando, Florida, in June, 2016.