'No Lackin' Challenge' led to 19-year-old's death, prosecutors say

HOUSTON – An internet-driven trend involving guns led to the death of a 19-year-old Houston man last month, according to prosecutors.

Houston police said Christian Estes-Johnson was shot and killed Dec. 11 in his bedroom at a home In the 6300 Ivyknoll Road near Sandpiper Drive.

He was allegedly playing a dangerous game called the “No Lacking Challenge.”

Investigators said that two people who were in the room with Johnson at the time of the shooting ran from the scene even after Johnson’s family tried to stop them.

On Wednesday, authorities arrested and charged 18-year-old Mohamad Alajil with manslaughter in connection with Johnson’s death.

Mohammed Alajil is seen in this mugshot released by the Houston Police Department on Jan. 3, 2019.

Alajil made his first appearance in court Thursday, where prosecutors said that he originally told investigators that Johnson began fighting with him and he shot Johnson is self-defense. However, prosecutors said, Alajil changed his story after detectives informed him that another person who was in the room told them that a game called the “No Lackin’ Challenge” resulted in Johnson’s death.

It’s a dangerous new craze popularized on the internet in which a player pulls a gun on another, and asks, “Are you lackin?" That's street slang for, “Are you armed?”

The other player is then expected to show a weapon, as well.

“The two were pointing loaded weapons at each other,” a prosecutor said during the hearing Thursday.

Alajil was free on bond awaiting trial on a robbery charge when Johnson was killed.

On Thursday, Estes-Johnson’s sister said she believes her brother’s killing was intentional.

"My brother was murdered and robbed. It wasn’t no game. It wasn’t no challenge. My brother didn’t play those games,” Shyra Estes-Johnson said.

Prosecutors asked for a high bond of $100,000 because Alajil is a Syrian national and could be a flight risk, and because he is already facing the aggravated robbery charge. The magistrate judge hearing the case set a much higher bond of $250,000.

About the Authors:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.