The police in Nashville, Tennessee, are investigating the death of a man after a YouTube prank went horribly wrong.
Yesterday evening, 20-year-old Timothy Wilks was shot dead in the parking lot of a family-friendly trampoline park after he ‘pretended to rob’ a group of people.
It’s been reported that Wilks and a friend approached a group of people having armed themselves with large butcher knives and demanded that they hand over their cash.
Wilks was then shot dead by a member of the group, 23-year-old David Starnes Jr, who later told police that he was acting in self-defense.
Timothy Wilks died while performing prank for YouTube video
Wilks’s friend told the officers they were filming a prank and intended to put the footage onto YouTube.
The cops have stated that they are still investigating the incident, but as of writing, nobody has been arrested. Starnes admitted to the shooting as soon as officers arrived on the scene.
According to Tennessee Law, Starnes was legally permitted to carry a handgun.
The Urban Air trampoline and adventure park is a family-friendly arena and is not usually the scene of violent crime.
Robbery ‘prank’ videos are fairly common on YouTube; however, it is generally more common for all participants to be in on the ‘joke.’ These videos often involve fake firearms, balaclavas, and getaway vehicles, and can generate millions of views.
This is despite YouTube bringing in new rules two years ago, which supposedly ban videos that show dangerous or threatening pranks. The decision came following a number of high profile incidences that resulted in death.
In one incident in 2017, Monalisa Perez fatally wounded her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz, when she shot him in the chest through a book he was holding up. They had believed that the thickness of the book would stop the bullet.
Reaction on Twitter to YouTube prank was shock and dismay
Folks took to Twitter to debate the incident, and to mostly register their disgust.
One Twitter user argued that an armed prank robbery is still a robbery, as the victims are forced into handing over their belongings.
And another Tweeter lamented the “crazy” lengths that some people go to just to get a few internet likes.
In other, somewhat happier YouTube news, Big Brother winner Jackson Michie has launched a brand new YouTube channel in his name. The controversial Big Brother 21 winner is hoping to cash in on some of his fame.
Last week, anime YouTuber Yagami Yato responded to accusations that she groomed minors and provided sexually explicit material to underage children. The controversial figure has denied any wrongdoing.