A 21-year-old YouTuber was shot in the stomach and left fighting for his life after he claims he played a ‘simple prank’ on a stranger inside a Virginia mall.
Tanner Cook, 21, was filming a video at the Dulles Town Center mall when a fight broke out with Alan Colie, 31, of Leesburg, Virginia.
It is not clear what Cook’s prank entailed, but his previous form includes pretending to vomit on an Uber driver and asking strangers to play naked Twister.
Cook remained in intensive care for several days after a bullet pierced through his stomach and liver.
Colie was arraigned Monday accused of aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and discharging a firearm inside a building.
Tanner Cook, 21, is pictured from his hospital bed after undergoing surgery for a bullet that punctured his stomach and liver
Suspected shooter Alan Colie, 31, was arraigned Monday and assigned a public defender after allegedly shooting Cook over the weekend
Sheriff Mike Chapman said the shooting resulted from a fight that broke out in the food court of the Dulles Town Center mall.
A video recorded by an Instagram user showed Colie being arrested and pinned to the ground.
From his hospital bed, Cook spoke to WUSA9 after undergoing surgery. He said he had been playing a joke on Colie for another video.
‘I was playing a prank and a simple practical joke, and this guy didn’t take it very well,’ said Cook, who added that the incident will not deter him from continuing to make videos.
Cook created content for an account called Classified Goons, which has just under 40,000 subscribers.
The videos on the channel include Cook pretending to vomit on an Uber driver, playing a prank on a Target employee, and asking strangers to play naked Twister.
Cook’s friend had been recording the video when Colie allegedly pulled out his gun. The family said the video is now part of police evidence.
Officers tackle the shooting suspect at the Dulles Town Center in Sterling, Virginia
Despite whatever events precipitated the shooting, Cook’s father, Jeramy Cook, said the incident was shocking and unnecessary.
‘They were making a video at the mall and trying to have fun with people and this guy wasn’t having fun,’ he said.
‘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.’
Jeramy Cook emphasized that his family’s faith in God to get them through this trying time.
‘We need restoration, we need healing, and we need to come together.’
‘I pray for this young man and pray that he finds God in this. I believe that God saved our son’s life, and he could have easily died but that’s not the outcome. God has plans for my son,’ he said, noting that he bears no ill will toward Colie.
The Virginia mall reopened Monday after being shut down for a full day.
Phylis Randall, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair said she has fielded a number of calls from concerned constituents.
‘I’ve heard from so many of my constituents and they’re traumatized,’ she said. ‘The victims are more than just people directly involved. People have secondary trauma from this and may never walk back into this mall again.’
Tanner Cook’s father, Jeramy Cook, said the entire incident was shocking and unnecessary. ‘They were making a video at the mall and trying to have fun with people and this guy wasn’t having fun,’ he said
Cook pictured in one of his prank videos. Some online viewers of Cook’s videos took a stance against his public behavior in the wake of the shooting: ‘Alan Colie is the hero we need,’ wrote one
Some online viewers of Cook’s videos took a stance against his public behavior in the wake of the shooting.
‘I really hope the shooters [sic] lawyer uses all your past videos as defense evidence at his trial,’ wrote one commenter.
‘Hoping for a slow recovery and long lasting effects, prayers for the defendant, hopefully he gets all charges dropped. Im [sic] glad people are finally taking care of these people who purposely harass and annoy people just trying to live their lives,’ wrote another.
‘Alan Colie is the hero we need,’ wrote a third.