A Virginia jury has acquitted Alan Colie, a 31-year-old delivery driver, who shot 21-year-old YouTube prankster Tanner Cook in a mall food court earlier this year. The incident occurred on April 2 at the Dulles Town Center in Sterling, Va., during the filming of one of Cook’s prank videos for his “Classified Goons” YouTube channel.
The jury deliberated for about five hours and ultimately found Colie not guilty of aggravated malicious wounding but guilty of firing a gun inside the mall. The verdict on the firearms charge has been set aside until a hearing scheduled for October 19.
The courtroom saw emotional moments as jurors were shown footage of Cook getting shot near the stomach, recorded by one of his friends who was helping film the prank video. The video depicted Cook using Google Translate to play a phrase repeatedly near Colie’s ear, creating a tense situation in the mall’s food court.
Colie testified that he felt threatened and confused by the actions of Cook and his friend. In his defense, Colie stated that he carried a gun for self-protection due to reports of delivery service drivers being robbed.
The Prank Gone Wrong
Cook’s father, Jeramy Cook, explained that they were making a video at the mall to have fun with people, but Colie didn’t react positively. The prank involved interviewing or talking to people in the mall, and when Colie didn’t appreciate it, he pulled out his gun and shot Tanner.
The prosecution argued that Cook posed no threat, emphasizing that personal space invasion does not justify the use of lethal force in a public space.
|April 2, 2023
|Tanner Cook, a prank YouTuber, is shot in the chest by Alan Colie during a mall prank video.
|April 2, 2023
|Police respond to reports of shots fired at Dulles Town Center in Sterling, Va.
|April 2, 2023
|Cook is hospitalized, and Colie is arrested and charged with aggravated malicious wounding.
|Tanner Cook posts a YouTube video titled “I Got Shot!” featuring footage of the aftermath.
|October 19, 2023
|A hearing is scheduled to discuss the verdict on the firearms charge against Alan Colie.
|Colie’s defense attorney requests to set aside his client’s conviction, citing inconsistency.
|Jury acquits Alan Colie of aggravated malicious wounding but finds him guilty of firing a gun.
|Tanner Cook expresses indifference to the verdict, stating it’s “God’s plan at the end of the day.”
Tanner Cook’s Reaction
Upon leaving the courthouse, Tanner Cook expressed indifference to the verdict, stating, “I really don’t care. It is what it is. It’s God’s plan at the end of the day.” Despite the incident, he mentioned that he would likely continue making videos.
Cook’s mother, Marla Elam, echoed their respect for the jury’s decision. She emphasized the family’s gratitude for having Tanner alive and thanked the prosecutors for their efforts.
The Aftermath and Legal Proceedings
While Colie remains in custody, his defense attorney, Adam Pouilliard, has requested that his client’s conviction be set aside. Pouilliard argued that the conviction on the firearms charge is inconsistent with the self-defense grounds on which Colie was acquitted.
The jury’s decision raises questions about the boundaries of self-defense in response to perceived threats, especially in the context of prank videos that intentionally provoke reactions from unsuspecting individuals.
A1: Alan Colie was found not guilty of aggravated malicious wounding but guilty of firing a gun inside the mall. The verdict on the firearms charge is pending a hearing on October 19.
A2: Tanner Cook was shot by Alan Colie during the filming of a prank video. The video showed Cook using Google Translate to play a phrase near Colie’s ear, leading to a confrontation.
A3: Tanner Cook expressed indifference, stating, “I really don’t care. It is what it is. It’s God’s plan at the end of the day.”