Colorado teen shot, killed while filming TikTok dance video

Aug 30, 2022, 12:55 PM | Updated: 1:12 pm

DENVER (AP) — Two minors and an adult face charges after a Colorado teenager was shot in the head and killed while filming a video for the popular social media platform TikTok earlier this month.

Three minors were filming dance videos to post on TikTok in the southern Colorado town of Monte Vista when a Glock 19 pistol discharged on Aug. 7, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by KRDO-TV.

The victim’s identity has not been released.

Emiliano Vargas, 21, has been arrested for allegedly permitting or providing a minor with a firearm.

The two other minors who were at the scene were arrested for alleged reckless manslaughter and possession of a handgun by juveniles, according to a statement by the Monte Vista Police Department.

According to the affidavit, one of the minors told police that she saw the other juvenile point and shoot the gun at the victim before throwing the pistol on a nearby bed.

When asked if it seemed like an accident, the girl said to police, “it could be on (an) accident.”

Vargas told police he was not at the scene when the shot was fired, according to the affidavit.

The gun was kept unlocked and visible on a shelf in the home, according to the police document, and police found photos of minors holding the gun in May earlier this year.

Vargas’s lawyer, Peter Rachesky, did not immediately respond for comment on Tuesday.

Police watched a TikTok video recorded just before the shooting in which the victim is dancing while someone in the background is “fiddling with something,” according to the affidavit.

Investigators also determined that the nature of gunshot wound made it unlikely the victim accidentally shot did the shooting, the document says.

Irene Arellano, public information officer of the Monte Vista Police Department, declined to comment on the case, citing a judge’s order limiting pre-trial press exposure.

The case is being prosecuted by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. Lawrence Pacheco, the office’s spokesman, also said he could not comment.


Jesse Bedayn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Bedayn on Twitter.

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Colorado teen shot, killed while filming TikTok dance video