A Florida teen, Aniyah Womack, was fatally shot while recording a TikTok video with her friend, Mariah Clayton, who was using a rifle as a prop, according to an arrest warrant obtained by HuffPost. Womack, 19, died in late May after being dropped off at a Jacksonville hospital with a gunshot wound to her abdomen. For months, her family searched for answers regarding the circumstances leading to her shooting. Last week, Clayton, 20, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after being identified as a suspect in the alleged accidental shooting.
According to the arrest warrant, Womack and Clayton were hanging out with friends at an apartment in the early morning of May 24. Clayton called Womack and another woman into a bedroom where she was holding an “all-black rifle.” The woman advised Clayton against playing with the gun, but Womack began recording a TikTok video in which Clayton would have appeared with the weapon. A man then entered the bathroom and attempted to take the rifle away from Clayton. During the struggle, the rifle discharged, fatally injuring Womack.
Clayton claimed that the man was holding the rifle when it discharged, as he had allegedly demonstrated how to hold the gun by wrapping his arms behind her. However, the man denied ever demonstrating to Clayton how to use the rifle, stating that he had warned against playing with it and that it discharged as she put it down.
Police concluded that Clayton’s actions inappropriately handling the rifle while attempting to film TikTok videos were culpably negligent, making her directly responsible for Womack’s death. Records show that Clayton is scheduled to appear in court on October 30, and it is unclear if she has legal representation.