Perhaps parents should consider this a cautionary tale of the influencer world…
You probably don’t know the name Ava Majury, but on TikTok she’s a genuine star with over 1.2 million followers. That carries over to Instagram where she has north of 300k. That’s a lot of success for a 15-year-old. And she’s been at it a while already.
In fact, she was still 14 years old when she faced a horrific incident with a stalker that ended with the older teen dead.
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Back in 2020, the Naples, Florida native dealt with an obsessed fan for whom the content she was putting out just wasn’t enough. She says she was allowed to sell the 18-year-old boy a couple selfies for $300 a pop. He paid her on Venmo.
In a new interview with the New York Times discussing the incident this week, Ava assures this wasn’t as inappropriate as it sounds:
“I wasn’t sending anything of my body. It was just pictures of my face, which is what I assume that he was paying for. My whole thing is my pretty smile — that’s my content.”
But if you give a mouse a cookie, as the saying goes…
Ava says the older boy, Eric Rohan Justin, began sending her messages on Venmo asking for butt pics and other “stuff that a 14-year-old shouldn’t be sending.” She eventually blocked him, something he offered her hundreds of dollars to undo.
When it became clear he wouldn’t get more from her, he found her friends at school and asked them for more photos of her — as well as her cell phone number. Sometimes he paid. but in one instance he even did someone’s math homework for them.
Eventually Ava’s father, Rob Majury, got involved. He told Today:
“I had the opportunity to actually text this person and said, ‘Hey, she’s a minor and you need to not contact her anymore.’ And we notified the authorities.”
But Justin was determined to get to Ava. So much so, he reportedly messaged a classmate “i could just breach the door with a shotgun i think.” Ava told her parents about the threat, but no one took it seriously. They should have.
On July 10, 2021, Justin did exactly what he said — he showed up at Ava’s house and blasted the front door with a shotgun. Ava told the Times:
“All I remember was, I heard it, I felt it in my chest, and I looked up, and there was a hole in my door from the fragments”
But this was Florida we’re talking about, so her father was also armed. Rob says he grabbed his own handgun and chased off the teen. But as they waited for the cops to arrive, he returned and allegedly pointed the shotgun at Rob — who shot the boy dead.
The father told Today:
“Somebody had attempted to breach the door with, I presume, a shotgun. At that point I took action and neutralized the threat.”
The police told Rob they ruled the shooting justified. Not surprising. Heck, this is a “Stand Your Ground” law state we’re talking about. The Collier County Sheriff’s report said Justin “was most likely a stalker that resulted from her daughter’s extensive social media involvement.”
One might expect a young girl to be scared off social media after such a horrifying event, but Ava’s influencer status is going strong. Just over a week after the shooting, she flew to LA to meet with agents and attend red carpet events.
Rob told Today they’re just doing things differently now:
“More security on our end. More reviews of accounts. More checking in. Just trying to be normal for Ava. Even afterwards people say, ‘Why would you allow this to continue?’ It became such a part of her personality and being that to take it away would maybe harm her more.”
In her own post on IG explaining why she’s finally coming forward to tell this story, Ava explained:
“Social media can connect people of all walks of life and create a sense of community. But today I’m telling my story so that young people and parents are also aware of the dangers of social media. I could never have imagined my innocent posts would result in a stranger showing up at my front door with a shotgun. I urge young people and parents to immediately report any threat or signal of violence, and not wait until it’s too late. I hope my experience will be a teaching moment for not just my friends but social media users of all ages and backgrounds. Thank you all for your support.”
See the full Today interview (below):
What do YOU think of Ava’s story? Should parents let their children be social media influencers? Let us know in the comments (below)!
Stay safe out there, everyone!
[Image via Today/YouTube/Ava Majury/Instagram.]