Teen killed filming fake fire-arm stand-off for internet ‘challenge’
While many felt that the internet had hit the limit of fatally stupid internet challenges when numerous people poisoned themselves eating laundry detergent packets in 2017, a new game that has people casually pointing loaded weapons at each other has taught us never to doubt humankind’s creative capacity for self-endangerment.
18-year-old Mohamad Alajil has been charged with manslaughter for the death of Christian Estes-Johnson (19) in mid-December. He had fled the scene of the crime, but was finally taken into custody on Wednesday.
At first, Alajil told police that he had acted in self-defense when Estes-Johnson attacked him. After a witness came out, however, he admitted the pair were making a video for youtube as part of the “no lackin' challenge,” an internet craze where a person points a gun at someone who is then expected to show their own weapon in return.
The “joke” is to show that the person has a weapon on them at all times, especially in bizarre or unpredictable circumstances. A youtube compilation video of the challenge shows the humorously-intended brief firearm stand-offs at fast food restaurants, in a car at a red light and even while people are using the bathroom.
Ajajil was already out on bond on charges of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon from just a few months earlier.
There are at least two other shootings incidents that have resulted from the “challenge” last year. Alajil’s public defender Genesis Draper told the court on Thursday that the incident was “not the first of its kind” and that the “game” had “caused similar outcomes across the country.”
Estes-Johnson’s sister Shrya said that the family was “very very shocked” because Alajil was like a family member, and her brother’s “best friend”. The victim’s mother Perala Estes, however, said that "Manslaughter is a slap in the face," claiming the incident was a robbery and murder. "My son doesn't play a gun game," she added.
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