An Albuquerque Journal report says YouTubers Gavin Free and Meg Turney were forced to hide in a closet as an armed, deranged fan searched their home for them last month. Christopher Giles, who the article describes as "single, lonely, and disturbed," eventually left the house after being unable to locate the couple, and was subsequently killed in a confrontation with police.
The report states that Giles, "an avid player of videogames and was known for watching YouTube videos that were centered on his hobby," had "developed a fondness" for Turney, and a simultaneous resentment of Free, her boyfriend.
"A search of Giles' cellular phone identified various notations identifying Megan Turney and Gavin Free by name," court documents filed by police state. "Furthermore, threatening thoughts were recorded by Giles and directed toward Gavin Free, ie., 'I want Gavin Free to die alone, with no children'."
Giles broke into their home at around 3:40 am on January 26, firing at least one shot in the process. After failing to find them, he attempted to leave but was blocked as he was backing out of the driveway. Police ordered him to stop, but reportedly heard a single gunshot from inside the car. One of two officers on the scene subsequently shot at the car; Giles was later found dead in the car with a .45 caliber handgun beside him. A preliminary examination indicated that he committed suicide, but that ruling is not yet official.
"Based on the [security camera] footage seen it was apparent that Giles’ sole intent was to cause harm to someone who resides there," the court documents say. "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." Giles' cellphone contained evidence including "more than 1000 notes" about Free and Turney.
The incident illustrates the escalation of invasive and often violent interactions between prominent online gaming personalities and their audience, which has also seen multiple 'swatting (opens in new tab)' incidents occurring in 2017 among the gaming community.
Gavin Free is the former creative director of Rooster Teeth, and also the creator and co-host of The Slow Mo Guys series on YouTube. Turney joined Rooster Teeth in 2014, streams regularly on Twitch, and is also well known as a cosplayer. At time of publication, neither Free or Turney had issued a public statement.