ABQ man targeted YouTube celebrities - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ man targeted YouTube celebrities

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

A YouTube celebrity couple hid in the closet late last month, calling 911 while police say a man searched through their home in Austin, armed with a gun and firing at least one round inside the house.

Less than 10 minutes later, that man was dead in the driveway. The couple had not been harmed.

Internet personalities Gavin Free and Megan Turney post video blogs on their YouTube channels about their lives. Police say those videos led an Albuquerque man to resent Free and drive to their Austin home last month, apparently to hurt them. (Source: YouTube)

Christopher Giles, who police described as “single, lonely and disturbed,” had made the 11-hour drive from Albuquerque, according to documents filed in the 2nd Judicial District Court. And his phone was full of notes suggesting he had “developed a fondness” for the woman, Megan Turney, and a dislike of her boyfriend, Gavin Free.

Turney, 30, was made famous through her video blogs on anime, relationship advice and her life. Free, 29, is the co-host of a YouTube video series of slow-motion videos.

Christopher Giles

“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.’ ”

A spokeswoman for the Austin Police Department said the case is under investigation and she could not answer any additional questions about it.

But part of that investigation includes assistance from homicide detectives with the Albuquerque Police Department who served a search warrant on Giles’ Northwest Albuquerque apartment a couple of days after the shooting.

According to that search warrant affidavit, around 3:40 a.m. on Jan. 26, Turney and Free awoke to the sound of breaking glass and a gunshot. They hid in their bedroom closet and called 911 while Giles searched their home for them.

When he couldn’t find the couple, Giles left, encountering Austin Police Department officers on his way out.

The officers found Giles backing out of the driveway in his Lincoln sedan with a New Mexico license plate and ordered him to stop.

Instead, they heard a single gunshot coming from the car. An officer returned fire.

Giles was pronounced dead on the scene, a .45 caliber handgun near his hand, according to the affidavit. Turney and Free were not harmed.

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 postmortem examination by the Travis County Medical Examiner found that Giles may have shot himself, according to the affidavit, but an official ruling on his manner of death is underway.

Giles’ family members could not be reached by the Journal last week. Neither Turney nor Free responded to phone calls.

Chilling evidence

Throughout the investigation, Austin Police Department detectives found chilling evidence about what Giles might have been up to. They said security footage shows him searching the home for the residents, 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,” the detective wrote in the complaint.

On Giles’ cellphone, they found even more clues – various comments about Free and Turney, according to the affidavit, and more than a thousand other notes, including about his dislike of Free.

The detective said it was apparent that Giles had “developed a fondness of Turney yet resented Free for his lifestyle and success.”

Albuquerque Police Department detectives who executed a search warrant on his home in Albuquerque said Giles lived alone and was “an avid player of video games and was known for watching YouTube videos that were centered on his hobby.”

Detectives took two cellphones, a laptop, two tablets and an XBox gaming system from his home.

“Based upon the known circumstances and investigative findings, your affiant is led to believe that evidence related to the planned burglary and homicides of Megan Turney and Gavin Free will be found,” the detective wrote in the affidavit.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Top APS officials expected to testify in Stapleton trial
ABQnews Seeker
AG's Office lists 58 potential witnesses AG's Office lists 58 potential witnesses
2
Tech giant planning cargo facility at Sunport
ABQnews Seeker
Amazon is looking to expand its ... Amazon is looking to expand its presence in New Mexico by building a 30,000-square-foot air cargo fa ...
3
Ex-Gov. Martinez makes APS board endorsement
ABQnews Seeker
Urges voters to contribute to Courtney ... Urges voters to contribute to Courtney Jackson's campaign
4
NM water officials tell Congress of Colorado River Basin ...
ABQnews Seeker
NM state engineer says water managers ... NM state engineer says water managers should work to balance data and legal obligations
5
NM Supreme Court: Hidden weapon can still constitute 'aggravated ...
ABQnews Seeker
Ruling upholds juvenile delinquency finding for ... Ruling upholds juvenile delinquency finding for boy, 12, at school with concealed BB gun
6
Mayoral candidates pour money into media buys
ABQnews Seeker
Pro-stadium PAC spending more than all ... Pro-stadium PAC spending more than all council candidates combined
7
Bill mandates vaccines for police, firefighters
ABQnews Seeker
Councilor cites workers' high level of ... Councilor cites workers' high level of interaction with public
8
Zoo's elephants trumpet new overlook deck
ABQnews Seeker
BioPark holds ribbon-cutting for visitor, event ... BioPark holds ribbon-cutting for visitor, event space as animals roar
9
NM firm prepares to market cell-signal booster
ABQnews Seeker
A lightweight, portable cell-signal booster recently ... A lightweight, portable cell-signal booster recently got a boost of its own from testing by Sandia N ...