Houston teenager Mohamad Nour Alajil is accused of fatally shooting a friend while the two were enacting a viral challenge known online as "No Lacking."
Police said the 18-year-old fatally shot 19-year-old Christian Johnson in December. As NBC News reported, Alajil had initially claimed that he shot Johnson in self-defense, but later told investigators that the two were taking part in what was known as the "No Lacking" challenge, where one person pulls a gun on another person and records the reaction. The other person often pulls a gun as well, stemming from the idea that no one should ever be "lacking" a firearm.
In the December killing, both teens were armed. Police said Johnson pointed an AR-15 rifle at Alajil, who pointed a semi-automatic pistol back at the victim.
In a court hearing this week, prosecutors claimed that Alajil's gun accidentally discharged as he drew the weapon, killing Johnson.
"The complainant and the defendant were in the bedroom playing what is called the 'No Lackin'' challenge," the prosecutor said. "When the defendant stretched his arm out to the point [the gun was] at the complainant's head, the trigger was pulled, the pistol went off, striking the complainant, killing him."
Police said Alajil dropped the gun after the shooting and ran out of the house as Johnson's brothers tried to stop him. Police say Alajil escaped from the home, but made no attempt to call 911. After being arrested, Alajil initially told officers that the shooting was in self-defense during an argument with the victim. He later changed his story, saying that the two were enacting the social media challenge.
As ABC 13 reported, friends of Johnson disputed the account, saying they did not point guns at one another and were not participating in the "No Lacking" challenge. The victim's sister, Shyra Estes-Johnson, told the news outlet that she believed Alajil should have been charged with first-degree murder for the shooting.
"Of course my family is very, very pleased that they caught him. But we're not pleased with the charges they made against him," said Estes-Johnson. "We feel like it wasn't a game, it wasn't an accident. We felt like it's straight murder, robbery."The lawyer for Mohamad Nour Alajil has claimed that he did not intentionally shoot the victim. The teen, who was out on bond for an armed robbery charge at the time of the shooting, is being held in jail on $250,000 bail.