Man shot to death in ‘YouTube prank’ that went horribly wrong

Man shot to death in ‘YouTube prank’ that went horribly wrong
D-Keine via iStock

A man was shot to death while filming a “prank” robbery video for YouTube, according to statements provided to police.

20-year-old Timothy Wilks died after approaching a group of people in a car park outside the Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Nashville, Tennessee at around 9:25pm on Friday. 

He reportedly approached the group with a friend, who later told police that they were filming a prank video. Wilks is said to have been holding butchers' knives at the time. 

23-year-old David Starnes Jr, who was among the group Wilks approached, told police that he shot Wilks in self-defence and was unaware that a prank was being carried out.

Nobody has been charged in connection with the incident and an investigation is ongoing. The status of Wilks’s friend who approached the group with him is unknown

Prank videos have long been a popular – and controversial – genre of YouTube video. 

In August last year, content creators Alan and Alex Stokes were arrested after allegedly staging two fake bank robberies in California. An Uber driver was held at gunpoint by police during the incident.

The twin brothers were charged with false imprisonment and falsely reporting an emergency and face up to four years in prison if they are convicted. 

In January the same year, a teenager was reportedly taken into police custody after carrying out a robbery prank on his own mother in Ohio. 

The teen and his friends filmed themselves accosting the woman with what appeared to be a handgun while shouting “where’s the money at?”.

Two teenagers were arrested for inducing panic.

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