On Thursday, a Virginia jury acquitted Alan Colie, a 31-year-old delivery driver, of aggravated malicious wounding in the shooting of YouTube prankster Tanner Cook.
The incident occurred earlier this year at the food court in Dulles Town Center, about 45 minutes west of Washington, D.C.
Tanner Cook, 21, who runs the “Classified Goons” YouTube channel, followed Colie around the mall’s food court in an attempt to provoke a reaction and get more views for his video.
Footage shown in court reveals that just before the attack, Tanner Cook spoke with delivery driver Alan Colie, who appeared to be picking up an order.
Colie was seen on camera pulling away from Cook, telling him to “stop” three times, and attempting to remove the phone from Cook’s face.
Twenty seconds later, Colie drew his weapon and shot Cook.
“I was kind of in shock,” Cook said during Colie’s preliminary hearing. “I had to double-check I was shot because I didn’t feel anything at first.”
YouTube “prankster” gets shot at a mall for harassing a delivery driver.
Do you think the delivery driver is guilty? pic.twitter.com/Iiy1ATOKDz
— non aesthetic things (@PicturesFoIder) September 30, 2023
According to reports, Colie surrendered peacefully to the deputies who found him at the food court. The charges against him include aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and discharging a firearm within a building.
The jury was divided on two lesser firearms counts but decided to convict Colie on one and acquit him on the other, The Guardian reported.
The trial saw about five hours of jury deliberation. Three hours in, the jury sent out a note stating they were “divided in terms of whether the defendant acted in self-defense.”
Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Snow urged the jury to continue deliberations. The jury eventually delivered its verdicts, acquitting Colie of the main charge but convicting him on one of the lesser firearms counts.
Colie’s defense attorney, Adam Pouilliard, argued that his client was acting in self-defense. He pointed out that Colie felt menaced by Cook’s actions, which were designed to provoke a reaction and draw viewers to Cook’s YouTube channel.
The prosecution, however, argued that the facts did not support a self-defense claim, stating that Cook’s prank was bizarre but not threatening.
Colie, who has been in custody since his April arrest, will remain incarcerated. A hearing next month will address the inconsistency between Colie’s acquittal on self-defense grounds and his conviction on the firearms charge.
Cook’s “Classified Goons” channel has almost 57,000 subscribers and is known for off-putting stunts. Cook earns $2,000 to $3,000 a month from his videos, according to The Daily Mail.
Cook has asserted that the episode won’t stop him from producing more content, and he has already uploaded three new videos since the incident, including stealing bags at the baggage claim.