SAN DIEGO — The cousin of a TikTok star accused in a double-murder at an East Village apartment last week says his family member’s fame and failing marriage had contributed to a major shift in his personality.
Ali Abulaban, known online as “Jinnkid,” is suspected of shooting his wife Ana and a man described by police as her “companion,” Rayburn Barron, on the afternoon of Oct. 21 in the Spire San Diego high-rise. He was taken into custody a short time later on the freeway with his daughter in the car.
Abulaban’s cousin, Louie Marinari, said he was devastated by the news. “I started screaming and crying,” he told FOX 5 Wednesday. “I called my mom and I said, ‘Ali killed Ana.'”
Marinari said his cousin’s behavior had taken a turn in the time since he amassed nearly a million followers on TikTok. He grew popular on the digital platform primarily with impression videos, including a popular take on Tony Montana from “Scarface.”
Marinari said his cousin was obsessed with Al Pacino and Tony Montana. “I think he started to believe he was him,” he told FOX 5. The TikTok star used cocaine, according to his cousin, and seemed unconcerned with the consequences.
“Fame really messes with people’s heads,” Marinari said.
In a messy separation from his wife, Marinari says his cousin made threatening comments, though he claims he didn’t suspect Abulaban would act violently toward Ana. Now he says he hopes his family member will be convicted, and that he fears if his cousin is released he might come after him.
“He’s guilty, and I hope to God the law does their job,” he told FOX 5.
At his arraignment Monday, Abulaban pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.