Things That Matter

Aaliyah Salazar, 14, Was Shot While Making a TikTok Video, 2 Teens Charged for Her Death

As reported by 9 News, the teenager’s family says she loved dancing and making TikToks, but was senselessly murdered while making one. Now, two juveniles and an adult have been charged in connection to the case. 

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According to the police affidavit, Aaliyah was with other juveniles who had a gun in their possession as they filmed a TikTok video. Police say that a video filmed before the tragedy occurs shows Aaliyah dancing while another person in the background “[fiddled] with something.” 

At that point, the 14-year-old was shot in the head, with one juvenile telling the police they saw the shooter point the gun at her. The juvenile later said it could have been an “accident.”

One of the teens later told police they saw another point the gun at Aaliyah and fire. 

The two juveniles were charged with felony manslaughter and misdemeanor possession of a weapon. The adult, Emiliano Vargas, was charged with providing or permitting a juvenile to possess a gun, even though he was reportedly not at the scene at the time. 

The two teenagers face a maximum of just six years in a youth detention center.

About the low sentence, Aaliyah’s grandfather Gary Salazar told 9 News, “The frustration I’ve got with that is if you take a life you should have to pay for it dearly… not with a slap on the hand and say don’t do it again.” 

Salazar also told the news outlet that his granddaughter “could go into a store and come out with 20 new friends… she loved people and people loved her.” 

According to Alamosa News, Aaliyah was extremely excited to start her freshman year of high school, loved making new friends and hanging out with her grandfather, and could regularly be found exploring the mountains. 

Aaliyah had several pets including dogs, a cat, and hamsters, and loved TikTok: her family “knew” she was going to get famous, and she would spend “all day” getting ready to make her videos. 

The teen’s father William Salazar is still speechless about the tragedy: “It’s hard, it’s hard to put into words.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family out with Aaliyah’s headstone. The page explains that the teen was her grandfather’s “whole world” and “he loved his baby girl so much.”

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