Jury Delivers Verdict for Man Who Shot YouTube Prankster — Correct Decision?

Authors Defensive Use of Firearms Kimber Pearce This Week
Jury Rules Man Shot In Self-Defense During April Mall Shooting
The Fox 5 News report shows footage of the mall catastrophe and the jury decision. (Photo: Fox5)

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

A delivery driver involved in April mall shooting was found not guilty by a Virginia jury that ruled it self-defense last week. 

Alan Colie, 31, has been in jail since April when he shot at a young man playing an unnerving prank on him. Colie was charged with aggravated malicious wounding and two lesser firearm counts. 

Jury Makes a Decision

After the trial, the jury admitted they had been at a stand-still for a while, but eventually, Colie was ruled not guilty of any malicious intent. He was found guilty of discharging a firearm in an occupied dwelling. 

According to NBC News, Colie’s defense attorney argued in court that “the conviction on the firearms charge is inconsistent with the law, given Colie’s acquittal on self-defense grounds.”

Tanner Cook, the 21-year-old man shot while playing the “prank” was doing it for his YouTube channel.  According to AP News, “Classified Goons” had roughly 39,000 subscribers before Cook posted the video titled, “I Got Shot.”

The police report of the incident, posted in April, said, “LCSO received the first call reporting that a shooting had occurred at the Dulles Town Center mall at approximately 11:57 AM.”

Police responded to the scene and learned the details of what had been caught on video. 

Prank Gone Terribly Wrong

In the video, Cook approached Colie in the mall food court, holding a cell phone inches from the Doordash driver’s face. A vulgar message was playing from the speakers on a Google Translate App. 

Colie said “stop” several times and the video shows him attempting to back away, with Cook following him.

AP News summed it up saying, “Colie tries to knock the phone away from his face before pulling out a gun and shooting Cook in the lower left chest.”

READ MORE: YouTuber Shot, Killed After Going After Armed Tennessee Man in Fake Robbery

Cook was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was treated for the gunshot wound.

Cook was later asked why he did not leave Colie alone, and he admitted that he had considered stopping the prank.

He pointed out that it was not because his victim appeared to be angry, but because it wasn’t the “type of reaction Cook was looking for.”

Ask the Jury – Was It Self-Defense?

In court, Prosecutor Eden Holmes claimed that the “silly prank” did not warrant a need for self-defense. Arguing that the situation was “bizarre but not threatening.

She asked, “How could the defendant have found that he was reasonably in fear of imminent bodily harm?”

In response, one of Colie’s attorneys, Tabitha Blake, pointed out that Colie didn’t know it was a prank, and Cook’s 6’5” stature and straight face would have been quite menacing.

Obviously, after seeing the evidence and hearing the testimonies, the jury eventually agreed with this logic. 

WUSA9 spoke to Cook and his mother after the trial asking for their thoughts on the ruling.

“At the end of the day,” his mother said, “we respect what the jury says, and my family and I are just grateful and thankful that I have my son here.”

In a separate interview with Fox 5, Jeramy Cook, Tanner Cook’s father, expressed disagreement with the ruling of self-defense.

“Where’s the line,” he asked, “where it became a life-threatening situation, where he had to use deadly force?”

Moving Forward

When asked about his content, Cook confirmed that he does intend to keep pranking people and posting it to his Youtube channel.

Adam Pouilliard, Colie’s other defense attorney, said on NBC News that Cook “is trying to confuse people to post videos. He’s not worried that he’s scaring people. He keeps doing this.” 

In an earlier article from AP News, the sheriff who found Cook on the scene said he “recognized Cook immediately.” According to police, Cook is infamous in the area for his “repellent pranks.” 

Not only that, but many people in the community have dealt with Cook as well. In the jury selection process, more than one potential juror claimed to have been a previous victim of Cook’s “pranks.”

As far as the ruling goes, Cook’s mother was right. The jury made their decision and the law stands. But it is still a very multi-faceted issue.

Who was ultimately in the right? Did Cook’s actions warrant him being shot? Was Colie justified in shooting in self-defense?

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  • CalH October 11, 2023, 12:12 pm

    So getting shot didn’t knock any common sense into the would be famous You Tuber. I think his mental disorder reflects US Society in it’s current state.

  • R H October 10, 2023, 6:25 pm

    I don’t think it’s a justified self defense shooting… per se. But like THOUSANDS of others I’m almost glad it happened. This kind of crap is getting out of hand and becoming more of a public nuisance. Hopefully other YouTubers will think twice before harassing people with these stupid “pranks”. There ARE consequences for your actions.

  • Mac Attack October 10, 2023, 5:13 pm

    Not a prank, but an assault.

  • Crimsonfalcon07 October 9, 2023, 12:34 pm

    Monetizing being an a-hole with this “prank” crap has always been a stupid form of potential suicide. These clowns are despicable and add nothing to the world with their antics. Maybe if more of them faced criminal charges for filming people without their consent we could be done with it.

    • Shannon jones January 5, 2024, 4:17 pm

      I think it’s justified, someone repeatedly shoving something in your face after you tell them to quit. Are they mentally caput and planning to stab you?, distracting you for a knockout game or robbery? It’s too dangerous a situation to endure in today’s world.

  • Bob W October 9, 2023, 9:30 am

    Just shows it’s not always safe to be an asshole. It was the right verdict.

  • Ralph Humphrey October 9, 2023, 8:21 am

    Totally justified self defense shooting.

  • Terry October 9, 2023, 8:05 am

    Play stupid games – win stupid prizes!

  • DIYinSTL October 9, 2023, 7:43 am

    I don’t think that a mall fits the technical definition of “dwelling” so Colie should not have been convicted on that charge either.

    • Bob W October 9, 2023, 9:30 am

      I just said the same thing.

  • Hondo October 9, 2023, 5:55 am

    Clown earned what he got, he fucked around and found out, dumbass.

  • Rick Jones October 8, 2023, 10:50 pm

    Two men, one certainly large enough to pose a serious threat even if (if!) unarmed, accost and deliberately crowd into the personal space of a businessman who is carrying goods and, very possibly, cash belonging to his customers. In many jurisdictions, the two men have already committed assault at this point, even though they do not appear to have, as yet, actually touched their victim. The larger man continues to pursue and harass the retreating businessman despite apparently being asked, then warned, to stop.

    This assault is characterized as “a prank” by obviously non-analytical people who were not there and had no stake in the outcome but had, apparently, themselves been told that it was “a prank.”

    I first watched the “prank” portion of the news video without sound or explanation at the request of a friend who is a retired bodyguard. As a retiree formerly often responsible for safely carrying money from our business to various financial institutions, the situation appeared to me to be two thugs deliberately distracting the businessman and possibly trying to herd him to a place where they could safely rob him (yes, experience, including a life-threatening stab wound, has probably left me more paranoid than most. Plus, forever grateful for EMTs, paramedics, lead-footed ambulance drivers, trauma surgeons and ICU nurses.)

    We then watched the same portion of the video with sound. Although it is always difficult to be certain from a recording, the sound coming from the larger thug’s phone (which he appears to be trying to keep next to his victim’s ear) seemed loud enough to potentially damage his victim’s hearing. Another, and particularly despicable, form of assault.

    Also keep in mind that, even if the businessman realized that he was being recorded by yet another thug, he would probably be aware that criminals often post videos of their crimes on social media, up to and including murder according to the news media. Thus, being aware of being recorded (if he was aware of it) could have made him more, not less, fearful.

    My friend, and two of his former co-workers who watched with me, agreed that they would have felt fully justified in shooting both of the assailants, as well as the videographer if they had seen him (or her; when I asked them, they asserted that they were not misogynistic enough to consider female gangsters less dangerous than male gangsters.) They were impressed that the shooter had the nerve and self-control to stop after a single shot in such a threatening situation, though they did not feel that doing so was wise in the apparent circumstances.

    Even after then watching the whole news video, they felt that the shooter had taken a serious risk in giving the group of thugs a chance to pull their own weapons (they felt that the victim had no way of knowing at that moment that the other thugs were unarmed.)

    The shooting was justified. That the jury had trouble coming to the correct decision is disturbing and does does not speak well of their group competence to decide the fate of others.

    • Dave October 9, 2023, 11:19 am

      A remarkable analysis!

  • JD October 8, 2023, 7:09 pm


  • Terry Williamson October 7, 2023, 3:21 pm

    He should have shot him twice.

  • LJ October 6, 2023, 11:34 pm

    It looked justified to me. He had no idea what those two turds intentions were. The bigger of the two dumbass’s could have pulled out a knife and shoved it in his guts. His dumbass father taught him well. Since this happened in Virginia, dad is probably just another retarded liberal. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Besides, those two fuck-nuts-idiots are right back at in on youtube. Somebody will probably end up taking both out of the gene pool before it’s over with.

  • Zeb October 6, 2023, 3:30 pm

    He got what he deserved The big dumb ass is nothing but a bully who is trying to become famous at the expense of others. Should have set an example n put the bullet in his head.If his father doesn’t see that what his son is doing to others is wrong makes him a poor parent

  • Gee October 6, 2023, 12:51 pm

    This POS youtuber got what he deserved. An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. His dad another POS OF A PARENT cries fowl. Why isn’t there a video of a real father sticking his foot up his ask the first time his son pulled that shit on someone. I want to see his next harassment video he pulls on 3 or 4 marines and see his dumd ask get handed to him again along with his crew. Oh what, not someone his own size and equal numbers. I’m waiting for DA see see all his videos and file charges against them all. Oh I forget this POS is a victim. The only victim he is of his POS parents and being a dumb ask askhole.

    • FA&FO October 9, 2023, 7:48 am

      Lol the last times marines got tried they ended on the 6 o’clock news curbed stomped on a Washington street!

  • Wingnut October 6, 2023, 12:12 pm

    Play stupid games win stupid prizes!!!

  • kent October 6, 2023, 11:46 am

    No, deadly force wasn’t appropriate in this case. He was lucky. But people are getting fed up with the BS. Good luck to these Cultural Marxist woke arrogant liberal SOBs next election…..

  • Jake October 6, 2023, 10:52 am

    Tanner should quit playing this game and get a real job.
    The trouble is that you can’t predict how someone is going to react to your B.S. !!!
    Mess with the bull, you get the horns!
    Quit while you’re still in one piece!

  • larry October 6, 2023, 10:43 am

    Should have told him to back off before pulling the trigger

    • Woodreaux October 6, 2023, 4:02 pm

      Looks like he tried to retreat.

  • Ralph Johnson October 6, 2023, 10:39 am

    Cook’s lucky to be alive. However, since he didn’t learn anything from being shot in the gut it suggests he should have been shot in the head. Putting a chunk of lead in the brain would have taught him to never prank anyone else ever again!
    Some people are just too inconsiderate and stupid to live!

  • Punisher Six October 6, 2023, 10:22 am

    Regarding the original question: shooting justified? Yes.
    These idiots think that they can just get in people’s faces, harass them, block roads, destroy their property, all while potentially being a physical threat. People should not need to take the risk of an escalated attack prior to defending themselves, especially if their first reaction was to retreat.
    Next: “… Cook confirmed that he does intend to keep pranking people and posting it to his Youtube channel.”
    Some people never learn. He narrowly escaped winning a Darwin Award, and he intends to keep repeating the actions that resulted in him getting justifiably shot.
    It’s just a matter of time before more chlorine gets added to the gene pool.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment October 5, 2023, 2:17 pm

    you walk up phuck with me and wont relent then i will consider you a threat and capable of anything…….you go bye-bye now!
    shame the gun charges weren’t dropped……

    • R H October 10, 2023, 7:52 pm

      They still may be…

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