Houston, TX – An 18-year-old man has been charged with his friend’s death after he was fatally shot as the two played out a social media challenge involving guns.
Mohamad Nour Alajil and his friend, 19-year-old Christian Johnson, were playing the “No Lackin” challenge at Johnson’s home when he was killed, according to KTRK.
The challenge, which became popular on social media in the last months of 2018, calls for one persons to pull a gun on a somebody else, while filming the person’s reaction.
To meet the challenge, the second person is supposed to have their own weapon which they, in turn, pull and point at the first person, proving they aren’t “lackin” their own firearm.
"The complainant and the defendant were in the bedroom playing what is called the 'No Lackin' challenge," the prosecutor told the court on Thursday. “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."
The shooting occurred on Dec. 11, 2018 at Johnson’s home in the 6300 block of Ivy Knoll, KTRK reported.
Prosecutors said Alajil and Johnson were in Johnson’s bedroom when Johnson pulled out an AR-15 and pointed it at Alajil, according to NBC News.
Alajil responded to the challenge by pointing his own semi-automatic pistol at Johnson, but his attorneys told the court that what happened next was “not an intentional act.”
Authorities said Alajil pulled the pistol’s trigger and fatally shot Johnson in the head, according to KTRK.
Police said Alajil made no attempt to call for help and instead dropped his gun and ran out of the house as Johnson’s two brothers tried to stop him.
When police first interviewed him after the fact, Alajil told them that he and Johnson had been fighting, and that he’d shot Johnson in self-defense.
However, witness statements contradicted that story and Alajil changed his own statement to police and admitted to playing the “No Lackin’” challenge, KTRK reported.
Alajil was out on bond for an armed robbery charge when he allegedly shot Johnson, according to the Inquisitor.
He was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Jan. 3 in Johnson’s death.
The victim’s family has pushed for Alajil to be charged with first-degree murder.
“Of course my family is very, very pleased that they caught him. But we’re not pleased with the charges they made against him,” Shyra Estes-Johnson, the victim’s sister, told the Inquisitor. “We feel like it wasn’t a game, it wasn’t an accident. We felt like it’s straight murder, robbery.”
Estes-Johnson has alleged that Alajil planned to rob and murder her brother in his home, KTRK reported.
Court records showed that Alajil is a citizen of Syria, and was being held in jail on a $250,000 bond, according to KTRK.