'Cannot sleep with all the guilt': Girl, 14, shot dead by friend while making TikTok video
Three suspects, two teens and a 21-year-old, have been arrested in connection to Aaliyah Salazar's death
MONTE VISTA, COLORADO: Aaliyah Salazar, 14, was fatally shot in the head on August, 7, inside a home in Colorado's Monte Vista while she was making dance Tik-Toks with her friends. On August, 12, the three suspects, two teen girls and one of their boyfriends, Emiliano Vargas, 21, who legally owned the gun, were arrested for Aaliyah's death.
The Monte Vista Police Department said they have found the video that was being filmed when Aaliyah was shot. One of the arrested teens said the shooting was “an accident”. Vargas faces charges of providing a handgun to a juvenile, a class-four felony in Colorado. The two girls were charged with reckless manslaughter and possession of a handgun by juveniles and could face up to a maximum of six years.
Authorities have not released the minor suspects' names, but said one of the suspects allegedly told police that she saw the shooter pick up the gun and point it at Salazar and fire it, before tossing it on the bed. The girls told authorities the shooting 'could be [an] accident' and they had gained access to the gun through Vargas, who left the gun on a shelf. Vargas was not home at the time of the shooting and was at work at Safeway, a grocery store. However, Vargas has been charged with permitting or providing a minor with a firearm. The two girls were charged with reckless manslaughter and possession of a handgun inside Vargas's old grandparents Madelyn and Waldo Padilla's home, where he and his girlfriend, 17, lived. Police did not believe the victim shot herself, though both Aaliyah and the gun were found in the same room.
Police said there were photos of the minors with the gun in May, according to the New York Post. The affidavit states that a TikTok video was recorded just moments before the shooting, and shows Salazar dancing with another minor while another is seen "fiddling with something on the bed" in the background until the girlfriend pulled the gun down from the shelf and showed it to the girls. One of the girls told police that she had taken out the 'clip' before handing the gun to the other girls right before the shooting occurred. The girls admitted they did not try to help Salazar after she was shot because of "all of the blood" and that they "freaked out and ran out of the room to get [redacted] boyfriend's grandmother."
Madelyn told authorities she had been 'folding laundry' when she heard a "loud nose and heard the [girls]" running and screaming. Waldo said he was "in the bathroom when he heard what sounded like a car back firing" and heard "screaming and crying" before he told one of the girls to call 911.
A day later, Salazar's grandfather, Gary Salazar; told police one of the girls had called him and told him which girl had shot his granddaughter and planned on turning the other girl in because she "cannot sleep with all of the guilt." On August 9, investigators met with Madelyn again to ask if she had any more information after a 911 recording showed she had asked the girls who had the gun. She told officers she would go home and ask her grandson's girlfriend what happened; and later that day, she and the girlfriend arrived at the police station. The girlfriend told police she was "ready to say who shot [Salazar]" and stated she had 'lied' before as she was "scared and did not want [redacted] to get in trouble." The girl also told police the shooter was the "only friend that [she] was afraid of losing," the affidavit said.
Several GoFundMe pages have been set up to help with Salazar's funeral, '"Aaliyah was Gary’s whole world, he loved his baby girl so much," one of the GoFundMe said. "She could go into a store and come out with 20 new friends," Gary told 9 News. "She was just that type of person. She loved people and people loved her." The Salazar family is now saying the shooting was 'on purpose' and wants the girls to pay for their actions.