A disgruntled man drove to Austin to confront Gavin Free and Megan Turney, a young YouTube couple. The man was reportedly jealous of Free.
Single, Lonely, And Disturbed
The two internet personalities are known for posting lively videos on YouTube that give fans a glimpse into their home life together. According to the police, it was these videos that led a man from Albuquerque, NM to resent Free and subsequently drive to Austin to confront the couple.
"Single, lonely, and disturbed," was how police described the man in question, named as Christopher Giles.
His cell phone was full of notes describing his affection for Turney, and an intense dislike of Free. The 30-year-old internet personality first found fame through her vlogs on anime, relationship advice, and insights into her life. She is also a former Rooster Teeth host and cosplayer.
Her British boyfriend, 29, co-hosts a YouTube video series of slow-motion videos entitled The Slow Mo Guys. Free was previously the creative director of Rooster Teeth. The super-popular internet comedy group, and now production company, make videos favored by the likes of Giles.
Free seems to have been the main target of Giles's ire, with more than a thousand notes related to him logged on the gunman's phone.
"Threatening thoughts were recorded by Giles and directed toward Gavin Free, i.e., 'I want Gavin Free to die alone, with no children,' " wrote a detective handling the case.
The Austin P.D. confirmed the case is under investigation, but the did not provide additional comments. Part of the investigation includes assistance from homicide detectives, working with the Albuquerque P.D. A search warrant was served on Giles's apartment a couple of days after the incident occurred.
Hiding In The Closet
The warrant details how Turney and Free awoke in their home at around 3:40 a.m., Jan. 26, to the sound of breaking glass followed by a gunshot. They called 911 from their bedroom closet, where they hid while Giles searched the house.
Giles left when he couldn't locate the couple, only to find Austin police officers waiting for him. Giles fired a single shot from his car while backing out of the driveway. An officer returned fire and Giles was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.
The police found a .45 caliber handgun near his hand. A preliminary postmortem found that Giles may have, in fact, shot himself. An official ruling on the manner of death is underway.
Security footage shows Giles stalking the property, gun in hand.
"It was apparent that Giles' sole intent was to cause harm to someone who resides there," the detective detailed in the complaint.
Police found a huge amount of evidence related to Giles's resentment towards Free. It seems like he envied Free's aspirational lifestyle and his romantic relationship with Turney.
A search of Giles's home led to further evidence of his lonely, isolated existence, most of which was spent playing video-games and watching YouTube videos related to the same. Rooster Teeth would have been a go-to as a result since Turney still appears in their output while Free does not.
He drove 11 hours from his New Mexico home to Austin, to confront the couple. The assumption is that he intended to kill Free.
Since news broke of the incident, both Turney and Free have taken to their social media accounts to assure fans they are okay.
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
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
This is the latest in a long line of disturbing, real-life incidents involving YouTubers and internet personalities. Logan Paul, now infamous for filming a dead body and putting the footage on YouTube, had to call the police after a fan broke into his L.A. home.
Likewise, various Twitch streamers have found themselves targeted by fans who turn up at their homes unannounced. There have also been several incidents of streamers being swatted live on air.