A Tennessee YouTuber was shot and killed while filming a “prank” video that went horribly wrong.
According to Nashville police, Timothy Wilks, 20, was shot and killed when he approached a group of people in the parking lot of Urban Air indoor trampoline park on Friday.
When officers arrived at the scene, David Starnes Jr., 23, told them he shot Wilks in self-defense because Wilks was armed with a butcher knife.
A friend who was with Wilks told police they were filming a “prank” robbery video for their YouTube channel, the New York Post reported.
According to witnesses, Wilks and his friend ran at them while wielding butcher knives. They said Starnes shot Wilks to defend himself and his friends.
Police said an investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.
A lawyer told WZTV, “I’m sure the people involved would like to characterize this as a prank. But it certainly seems to be a prank that went seriously awry.” The lawyer said Wilks’ friend could potentially face charges.
Popular YouTube pranksters typically stage prank videos with willing participants to avoid liability if something goes wrong.
According to YouTube policies, YouTune does not allow creators to post content “that encourages dangerous or illegal pranks” that can lead people to fear for their safety or “cause serious physical harm or death.”