A teenage girl was killed in Monte Vista in early August after being shot while filming a TikTok video with two other teen girls, according to court records.
The two other girls were charged with reckless manslaughter and possession of a handgun, Monte Vista police said. The gun owner, Emiliano Vargas, 21, who was also called Emilio Vargas in the affidavit, was charged with not securing a firearm and unlawfully providing or permitting minors to possess a handgun.
None of the three girls have been officially identified yet.
About 3:30 p.m. Aug. 7, Monte Vista officers were called to a shooting in the 300 block of Monroe Street, where they found the girl with a gunshot wound to the head, according to an affidavit filed in Rio Grande County Court in Vargas’ case.
Officers discovered in initial interviews with the other two girls that the three teens were making TikTok videos when one of the girls grabbed Vargas’s gun.
She reportedly told officers she handed the gun to one of the other girls and “it just happened.”
Monte Vista police said in a Facebook post that there were rumors the incident was a suicide, but according to the affidavit, evidence suggests it would have been hard for the victim to shoot herself, “accident or not.”
Officers found the video the girls had made right before the shooting occurred, and it shows one of the girls “fiddling with something.”
The victim’s grandfather later contacted police, and he told them he was told the girls were “messing around with the gun,” and one of them threw the gun to another.
That girl “caught the gun and did not know how to hold the gun and the gun fired,” according to the affidavit.
In a later interview with officers, one of the girls told officers which girl had the gun when the shooting occurred, and when asked if it was an accident, she said, “It could be on accident.”
Officers also interviewed Vargas, who said he was not home when the shooting happened and did not know the girls would be playing with the gun.
On Aug. 11, Monte Vista police said in a Facebook post that they had arrested the two teen girls on warrants for reckless manslaughter and juvenile possession of a handgun. Vargas was also arrested and booked into the Rio Grande County Jail.
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