YouTuber Dies Aged 20 After Alleged Robbery Prank Ends In Fatal Shooting
A 20-year-old man has died after being shot during an alleged ‘prank’ robbery being filmed for YouTube.
Timothy Wilks and a friend are said to have approached a group of people outside Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Nashville, Tennessee, to carry out the alleged prank on Friday, February 5.
The pair were each carrying large butcher knives and as they approached the group, one member pulled out a gun and discharged the fatal shot, according to a Metropolitan Nashville Police Department statement.
Hear more about the story below:
Wilks’ friend, who has not been named, told officers he and Wilks were taking part in the stunt for a YouTube video, however the shooter, 23-year-old David Starnes Jr., told police he had no idea he was involved in the ‘prank’.
Police were called to the scene and Starnes admitted to shooting Wilks when the authorities arrived at 9.25pm. He claimed he shot the weapon in self-defence as the two men approached with the knives.
At the time the incident took place, several families were inside the ‘kid-friendly’ Urban Air park, located on Old Hickory Boulevard.
No charges have been filed against Starnes, though homicide detectives are continuing to investigate the incident. According to Guns To Carry, Tennessee firearms law is considered ‘gun friendly with no requirement for purchase approval or registration of firearms’.
Speaking about the situation to Fox affiliate WZTV, per The Sun, a lawyer commented, ‘I’m sure the people involved would like to characterise this as a prank. But it certainly seems to be a prank that went seriously awry.’
Robbery ‘prank’ videos of the kind allegedly planned by Wilks and his friend are relatively common on YouTube, though typically the ‘victims’ are aware of the situation beforehand. So-called ‘robbers’ sometimes use balaclavas and getaway vehicles, while weapons can involve fake firearms.
In an effort to prevent the potentially triggering or violent videos from being shared on the platform, YouTube brought in rules banning dangerous or threatening pranks two years ago, including stunts that ‘lead victims to fear imminent serious physical danger or that create serious emotional distress in minors’.
Videos involving threats with weapons and fake robberies are specifically listed as videos that are unacceptable on the site, and that would be taken down if they were posted.
The site also prohibits ‘extremely dangerous challenges’ such as those that ‘pose an imminent risk of physical injury.’
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read
Credits9 News/YouTube and 2 others
Guns To Carry