A delivery driver, Alan Colie, has been found not guilty in the shooting of Tanner Cook, a YouTube prankster who followed him around a mall food court. Colie was acquitted of aggravated malicious wounding but was convicted on one firearms charge and acquitted on another. The shooting, which occurred at Dulles Town Center, caused panic among shoppers who believed it was a mass shooting. Colie argued self-defense, stating that he felt menaced by Cook during the confrontation. The jury deliberated for about five hours before delivering their verdict.
During the trial, jurors watched a video of the shooting, which showed the confrontation between Cook and Colie lasting less than 30 seconds. Cook approached Colie, holding a cellphone inches from his face and broadcasting a provocative phrase. Despite Colie’s attempts to back away and multiple warnings to stop, Cook continued to advance. Colie eventually pulled out a gun and shot Cook in the chest. The prosecution argued that the prank was not threatening and that Colie did not reasonably fear imminent bodily harm. The charges of aggravated malicious wounding and malicious discharge of a firearm required the jury to find that Colie acted with malice.
Cook, who runs the “Classified Goons” YouTube channel, engages in off-putting stunts to attract viewers. This includes pretending to vomit on Uber drivers and following unsuspecting customers through department stores. Cook’s channel has over 50,000 subscribers, and he earns $2,000 to $3,000 per month from his videos. Colie’s defense attorney argued that his client was aware of the dangers faced by delivery drivers and had a license to carry a concealed weapon. The conviction on the firearms charge is now being contested, as it is deemed inconsistent with the acquittal on self-defense grounds. Colie will remain incarcerated until the issue is resolved at a hearing next month.