A teenage girl committed suicide after her friends allegedly filmed her in the shower and posted the video to Snapchat.
Tovonna Holton took a gun from her mother’s purse and shot herself in the bathroom of her family home in Florida on Sunday night.
Hours earlier, the 15-year-old had appeared distressed.
Her mother Levon Holton-Teamer told WFLA-TV: “Tovonna would say, ‘Mommy, I owe them; I owe them’. I said, ‘What do you mean you owe them?’ I couldn’t understand what was wrong.”
Holton-Teamer, who says her daughter had been bullied in the past, recalled: “I couldn’t get in the bathroom.
“The bathroom light was off so I tried to get in... I tried to apply the pressure, the pressure to her head. I tried to save her.”
Crystal Belle, a Facebook friend of a family member, posted: “She took her own life after being filmed nude in the shower by peer students, who then shared and shamed her on Snapchat.
“Please, if you allow your children to use social media, teach them to do so responsibly. 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.”
Tovonna's story is spreading with the hashtag #stopbullying.
One friend of Tovonna’s told the Daily Beast the teenager’s ex boyfriend had also posted the footage on Twitter after they broke up on Sunday morning.
Christian Coyle-Watts said: “Tovonna knew [her friend] posted the video, but Tovonna’s boyfriend posted it, trying to expose her in a derogatory way.
“He did it just because he knew he could, and it would hurt her feelings.”
A spokesman for the Sheriff’s department told the Tampa Bay Times investigators were aware of the allegations about a nude video and would “continue to investigate all angles.”
Tovonna’s school says it will comment once it hears more from the Sheriff’s office.
No arrests have been made.
Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41
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