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.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Police officers stand outside a Target store as a group of people protest across the street,...

Associated Press

Pride becomes a minefield for big companies, but many continue their support

Many big companies, including Target and Bud Light's parent, are still backing Pride events in June despite the minefield that the monthlong celebration has become for some of them.

2 days ago

FILE - Then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden plays music on a phone as he arrives to spe...

Associated Press

Biden, looking to shore up Hispanic support, faces pressure to get 2024 outreach details right

Joe Biden vowed in 2020 to work “like the devil” to energize Hispanic voters, and flew to Florida seven weeks before Election Day to do just that.

2 days ago

Editorial members of the Austin American-Statesman's Austin NewsGuild picket along the Congress Ave...

Associated Press

Correction: US-Gannett Walkout story

Journalists at two dozen local newspapers across the U.S. walked off the job Monday to demand an end to painful cost-cutting measures and a change of leadership at Gannett, the country's biggest newspaper chain.

2 days ago

FILE - The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of...

Associated Press

Saudi Arabia reducing global oil supply, could spell higher prices for US drivers

Saudi Arabia will reduce how much oil it sends to the global economy, taking a unilateral step to prop up the sagging price of crude.

3 days ago

This photo provided by Robert Wilkes, owner of a house boat management company, shows smoke rising ...

Associated Press

Houseboats catch fire while docked at Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell

More than half a dozen house boats momentarily caught fire at a popular boating destination on the Utah-Arizona line on Friday.

5 days ago

File - Women work in a restaurant kitchen in Chicago, Thursday, March 23, 2023. On Friday, the U.S....

Associated Press

US hiring, unemployment jump in May and what that says about the economy

The nation’s employers stepped up their hiring in May, adding a robust 339,000 jobs, well above expectations.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Colorado teen shot, killed while filming TikTok dance video