Jury Acquits Delivery Man Who Shot YouTube ‘Prankster’ At Mall Food Court in Virginia


A jury has found a man not guilty in a shooting incident with a YouTube prankster who followed him around a mall food court, according to the Associated Press

On Thursday, Alan Colie was acquitted of aggravated malicious wounding in the shooting of Tanner Cook, however, he was convicted of firing a gun inside the mall. Colie had pleaded not guilty and claimed he shot Cook in self-defense.

The guilty verdict was put aside until October 19 after Colie’s defense attorney, Adam Pouilliard, said the conviction was inconsistent with the law, especially when he was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense. A judge will hear arguments on the conviction, and Colie will remain incarcerated. 

Jurors were shown footage of Cook getting shot that was recorded by one of his friends helping him film a prank. The interaction took 30 seconds and showed Cook holding a phone and approaching Colie, who was picking up a delivery.  

Cook held his phone by Colie’s ear while playing a phrase out loud four times on Google Translate. Colie asked Cook to stop three different times and backed away before the prankster continued following him.

Eventually, Colie pulled out a firearm and shot Cook in his lower left chest. Pouillard claimed his client “walked into the mall to do his job with no intention of interacting with Tanner Cook. None.”

However, the prosecution claimed the facts of the case do not support a self-defense argument. According to state law, Colie needed to have reasonable fear that his life was in imminent danger, and that he use no more force than is necessary. Holmes claimed Cook’s prank wasn’t threatening enough to warrant he be shot.

“They were playing a silly phrase on a phone,” she said. “How could the defendant have found that he was reasonably in fear of imminent bodily harm?” 

The case became popular because of Cook’s YouTube channel, Classified Goons, which has more than 50,000 subscribers, and the prankster himself reportedly makes $3,000 a month.