A content creator was shot over the weekend in Virginia while making a practical joke video for his prank-themed YouTube channel.
But, he insists, he’s not been deterred from comedy.
Tanner Cook, 21, was shot in his liver and stomach while filming the clip inside the Dulles Town Center shopping mall on Sunday, April 2.
“I was playing a prank and a simple practical joke, and this guy didn’t take it very well,” Cook told Washington, D.C.-based CBS affiliate WUSA on Monday. “He didn’t say anything to me.”
The video itself, filmed for Classified Goons, was being shot by one of the victim’s friends but has since been seized and entered into evidence by law enforcement, Cook’s family told the TV station.
Cook’s father set the scene.
“They were making a video at the mall and trying to have fun with people and this guy wasn’t having fun,” Jeramy Cook told WUSA. “There was a phone that was around him and they were interviewing or talking to him, and he didn’t like it and he pulled out his gun and shot my son.”
Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman said the shooting occurred after a fight broke out between two men in the food court.
Deputies received a call about the gunfire and arrived within three minutes, a press release issued by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office says. Two minutes later, the alleged gunman was in custody.
“[The] male victim was found outside the mall with a gunshot wound to the abdomen,” the press release says. “The victim was treated for injuries by deputies and members of the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System and transported to a local hospital.”
“I’ve heard from so many of my constituents and they’re traumatized,” Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall told WUSA. “The victims are more than just people directly involved. People have secondary trauma from this and may never walk back into this mall again.”
Only the defendant was identified in the law enforcement release.
Alan W. Colie, 31, stands accused of one count each of aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and discharging a firearm within a building.
“We need restoration, we need healing, and we need to come together,” Jeramy Cook added in comments to WUSA. “I pray for this young man and pray that he finds God in this.”
“It’s surreal,” the victim’s grandfather Mike Cook added. “It’s obviously been unnerving and some fear running in and out, but we live on faith and not fear.”
Tanner Cook underwent surgery and is currently recuperating. He says that despite the misunderstanding, violence, and his injuries, he will continue to make videos for his YouTube channel.
The mall was shut down after the incident but reopened on Monday.
Cook has performed pranks in a mall before – the results were not nearly as dramatic; only a bit surprising for the good sports involved.
According to Loudoun County court records reviewed by Law&Crime, the defendant has been assigned a public defender in the case. His bond hearing and arraignment occurred on Monday. His next court appearance, a preliminary hearing, is currently slated for May 3.
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Tanner Cook won’t quit pranking – even after being shot
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