A young influencer's family is speaking out after a terrifying incident with one of her followers turned deadly.
Ava Majury, 15, is a rising social media star with more than 1.2 million followers on TikTok and more than 300,000 Instagram followers. In many of her TikTok videos, which regularly get well over 100,000 views, she lip syncs and dances to pop songs.
Last summer, things took a frightening turn when a man her family described as an obsessive stalker showed up at their Florida home with a gun.
"Someone had tried to breach the door with what I assumed was a shotgun," Ava’s dad, Rob Majury, told TODAY's Gabe Gutierrez.
The family says the alleged gunman was 18-year-old Eric Justin, who they said had been sending Ava hundreds of messages on her social media accounts.
Ava’s parents said that at one point, they allowed their daughter to sell Justin two selfies she had already posted online. But then Justin started asking Ava for explicit photos.
“I had an opportunity to actually text this person and said, ‘Hey, she’s a minor and you need to not contact her anymore and we will notify the authorities,’” Rob Majury said.
The family said when Justin arrived at their home with a gun, Ava’s dad, who is a retired police lieutenant, shot him. Justin died later from his injuries.
“At that point I took action and neutralized the threat,” Rob Majury said.
On the day of the shooting, authorities told the Naples Daily News that a man was shot and killed while attempting a home invasion. No names were released, and no one was arrested at the time.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office told NBC News that the case is an “ongoing investigation.”
Following the shooting incident last summer, the family moved houses and Ava began homeschooling.
Today, there’s “more security on our end, more reviews of accounts, more checking in — just trying to be normal for Ava,” her dad said.
Despite the incident, Ava is still posting on social media.
“Even afterwards people said why would you allow this to continue?” her dad said. “It became such a part of her personality and her being to take it away could maybe harm her more.”
Ava also reflected about the incident on Instagram, writing in a recent post, “I hope my experience will be a teaching moment for not just my friends but social media users of all ages and backgrounds.”
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