A recent incident in Dulles Town Center Mall, Virginia, shed light on the consequences of real-life pranks captured for YouTube. Tanner Cook, a YouTuber known for his prank videos, experienced the dangerous side of such content creation when a video shoot took an unexpected turn, resulting in him getting shot. Alan Colie, a 31-year-old food delivery driver, fired the shot and has now been declared “not guilty” of the primary charge by a US jury.
In the age of social media, prank videos have gained immense popularity, showcasing real-life practical jokes. However, the nature of these pranks, often involving unsuspecting members of the public, can sometimes lead to unforeseen and dangerous outcomes.
The incident at the mall unfolded when Tanner Cook, the YouTuber behind the channel ‘Classified Goons,’ approached Alan Colie with a mobile phone recording. Cook held the phone up to Colie’s face, playing a “silly” recording. After Colie backed away and requested Cook to stop three times, he eventually pulled out a gun after about 20 seconds.
Following the shooting, Cook had to undergo surgery to remove his gallbladder due to the injuries sustained. Despite the severity of the situation, Colie was acquitted based on self-defense.
The jury’s decision, rendered after approximately five hours of deliberation, led to the acquittal of charges of aggravated malicious wounding and malicious discharge against Colie. However, he still faces charges of shooting into an occupied dwelling, carrying a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Cook, determined to continue his YouTube journey, expressed his acceptance of the verdict, stating, “It’s God’s plan at the end of the day.” Meanwhile, the incident has sparked debates on social media, with some defending Colie, suggesting that Cook got what he deserved for harassing a stranger.
This incident serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the importance of considering the potential consequences and ethical boundaries while creating content for the online world.