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Thursday 8 December 2016

Teenager 'shoots herself with mum's gun after naked video shared on social media'

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death

Published 10/06/2016 | 11:45

Tovonna used her mother's gun to kill herself Facebook
Tovonna used her mother's gun to kill herself Facebook

A teenager has killed herself after a nude video was allegedly shared by her peers on social media.

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Tovonna Holton-Teamer, 15, shot herself with her mother’s gun on Sunday at her home in Pasco County, Florida after reportedly being bullied by other students at her school over the video.

Other students say she killed herself because she had "problems" other people were not aware of. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding her death.

Tovonna’s mother, Levon, explained how her daughter had been acting strangely before she took her own life.

“Tovonna would say, ‘Mommy, I owe them; I owe them,” Ms Holton-Teamer told WFLA. “I said, ‘What do you mean you owe them?’ I couldn’t understand what was wrong.”

But reports later surfaced that a nude video of Tovonna in the shower had been recorded by her friends and shared on social media.

On Sunday, Tovonna took her mother’s gun from her purse and used it on herself while locked in the bathroom.

“I go to the bathroom; I couldn’t get in the bathroom,” Ms Holton-Teamer said to the broadcaster. “The bathroom light was off so I tried to get in and I looked down and I saw the puddle of blood. I tried to apply the pressure, the pressure to her head. I tried to save her.”

Police have said they are investigating “all angles” of the death. After asking questions on Facebook, relatives were told she was being called names over content shared on social media, in particular Snapchat.

However, other social media users, who appeared to know Tovonna, disputed that she was bullied and said she "had problems going on that no one knew about".

Now, social media is also being used to campaign against cyber-bulling, and to mourn Tovonna.

On Facebook, Crystal Belle wrote: “She took her own life after being filmed nude in the shower by peer students, who then shared and shamed her on Snapchat.

“My prayers go out to the family of this beautiful young woman. I hope that all schools and parents begin to attack the beast of bullying and social media.”

Spencer Plyant, spokesman for Pasco County School District, told the Tampa Bay Times that Wiregrass Ranch High School, where Tovonna studied, was waiting for the official police investigation before deciding on a course of action.

“We have not heard results one away or another [yet],” Mr Plyant told the newspaper. “We're also trying to ask folks to respect the family's privacy. We all mourn the loss of Miss Holton.”

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