Guy Who Shot a YouTuber Harassing Him for a Prank Video Has Been Acquitted of Primary Charge

A Virginia jury has acquitted delivery driver Alan Colie of the main charge of aggravated malicious wounding in the shooting incident involving YouTube prankster Tanner Cook. The incident occurred in April at the Dulles Town Center mall, captured in a video shown to the jurors during the trial.

While Colie was found not guilty of the primary charge, the jury was divided on lesser firearms charges. Colie was convicted of the unlawful discharge of a firearm in an occupied dwelling but was found not guilty of the malicious discharge of a firearm. The jury’s decision on the main charges hinged on whether Colie acted with malice.

During the trial, Cook claimed he was playing a “simple practical joke” when Colie shot him, and that he did not realize his bizaare actions scared Colie. The footage presented showed Colie reacting to the situation by pulling out a semiautomatic pistol after repeated attempts by Cook to provoke him. 

It’s worth noting that as can be seen in the footage of the incident, Cook is a full head taller and had his phone about six inches from Colie’s face as it played the phrase “Hey dips—-, quit thinking about my twinkle” multiple times from the Google Translate app.

Colie also backed away and said “stop” three times before he tried to knock the phone from Cook before he pulled his gun and shot him.

Prosecutor Eden Holmes argued that the facts did not support a self-defense claim, emphasizing that while the prank was unusual, it did not pose a genuine threat of violence. Colie’s defense attorney, Adam Pouilliard, countered, stating that Colie felt genuinely scared during the confrontation with the YouTuber.

“It was stupid. It was silly. And you may even think it was offensive,” prosecutor Pamela Jones said in their opening statement. “But that’s all it was — a cellphone in the ear that got Tanner shot.”

Defense attorney Tabatha Blake argued that the prosecution’s description of the incident “diminishes how unsettling they were to Mr. Alan Colie at the time they occurred,” and emphasized that her client did not have the benefit of knowing he was a victim of a prank when Cook confronted him with the strange behavior.

The verdict, reached after five hours of deliberation, prompted Pouilliard to request the judge to set aside the conviction on the firearms charge, citing inconsistency with the self-defense acquittal. A judge is set to hear arguments on this matter next month.

According to the Associated Press, Cook testified that he doesn’t aim to elicit fear or anger from his targets. He merely tries to confuse them, even if targets often react in fear or anger. When asked why he didn’t stop when Colie told him to, he said he “almost did” but not because he sensed Colie was scared but because he wasn’t able to get the reaction that he needed for the video.

“There was no reaction,” the 21-year-old YouTuber said.

Cook, known for his YouTube channel “Classified Goons,” where he engages in pranks such as trailing strangers in stores and pretending to vomit on Uber drivers, has gained more than 15,000 new subscribers since the incident and has continued to make videos. He makes $2,000 to $3,000 per month from his YouTube channel.

Colie remains incarcerated as the case unfolds.


Information for this story was found via the Associated Press, X, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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