TikTok star accused of killing wife, her companion in high-rise shooting

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SAN DIEGO – Authorities Monday released the name of the man accused of fatally shooting his wife and her companion in an East Village high-rise apartment building last week.

San Diego police responded to reports of a shooting about 3:10 p.m. Thursday at the apartment at 1475 Island Ave. at a high-rise known as Spire San Diego. There, officers found two people with apparent gunshot wounds to their upper bodies in the living room of an apartment on the 35th floor.

Paramedics pronounced Ana Abulaban, 28, and National City resident Rayburn Cardenas Barron, 29, dead at the scene just after 3:30 p.m., according to San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown.

Abulaban was married to the suspect in the shooting, 29-year-old Ali Nasser Abulaban, and Barron was listed by police as her “companion.” A short while after the shooting, officers located Ali Abulaban traveling in a vehicle with his 5-year-old daughter on eastbound state Route 94 at Interstate 805 and Interstate 15, police said.

He was detained without incident and later arrested and charged in the murders of his wife and Barron, police said. The child was not with her father at the time of the shooting, according to police.

Ali Abulaban has more than 940,000 followers on TikTok, on which he goes by JinnKid. He is known for comedy skits and impressions, according to his profile on the social media app.

During his arraignment Monday, Ali Abulaban could be seen behind glass, shaking and sobbing uncontrollably in the courtroom.

On Oct. 18, the suspect moved out of the apartment following a domestic violence incident, the prosecution said, adding that his wife had filed a restraining order against him and was seeking a divorce. Ali Abulaban secretly kept a key to the home and had been going inside without his wife’s knowledge, according to the prosecution. During that time, he installed an app on his daughter’s iPad that allowed him to listen in on conversations in the apartment through his cellphone, according to the prosecution.

On the morning of Oct. 21, Ali Abulaban heard his wife and a man’s voice talking inside the apartment through the app, according to Deputy District Attorney Taren Brast. He drove from a Mission Bay hotel to the apartment complex, took an elevator to the 35th floor, ran to the apartment and opened fire, Brast said. Ali Abulaban shot Barron three times at close range, striking his neck, one cheek and the back of his head before he turned the gun on his wife, leaving one gunshot wound in her forehead, according to the prosecutor.

Family members of the victims could be heard crying out in the courtroom as Brast described what happened.

“The defendant fled the apartment,” Brast said. “Neighbors had heard the gunshots, witnessed the defendant leaving the apartment. Then he made a phone call to his mother admitting that he shot and killed his wife.”

Video surveillance from the apartment complex showed the defendant at the apartment, and he allegedly confessed to the killing to police, Brast said.

“The defendant then fled the building, went to pick up his daughter from school, still had the loaded gun in his car,” Brast said. “Told his daughter that he ‘hurt mommy’ and then he was soon apprehended by the police.”

The judge denied bail, saying Ali Abulaban is a flight risk and perhaps a danger to society. A protective order was also written to prohibit him from having any contact with family members including his daughter, who is staying with a family member.

If found guilty, Ali Abulaban faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The incident remains under investigation, Brown said.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the department’s Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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