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January 31, 2021

Inside the Case of 20-Year-Old Blogger Timothy Wilks Who Was Killed While Filming a Prank

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Timothy Wilks, a 20-year-old blogger, lost his life in a bizarre fake robbery gone wrong after he was shot while filming a YouTube prank with a friend. The man who shot Wilks claimed self-defense.

It was a prank gone bizarre for YouTube blogger Timothy Wilks and his friend when they decided to stage a robbery prank at the parking lot of a local trampoline park in Old Hickory, Nashville.

According to WKRN, it happened that Wilks and his friends approached strangers in the parking lot of Urban Air on Friday, February 5, as part of a YouTube robbery prank. The duo walked towards people with butcher knives pretending to be thieves. 

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Unfortunately, their playful escapade soon became a sorrowful moment after the 20-year-old and his friend approached 23-year-old David Starnes Jr., who had no idea it was a prank. He fatally shot Wilks. A customer told the publication:

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“This is like a huge kids area, and when we were in there, there were a ton of tiny kids, and it’s just like that would not be a great idea. Especially if anyone was walking out here.”

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According to reports, Urban Air was still opened at the time of the shooting, but staff members aren’t sure if the three men involved were trampoline customers. The number of times Starnes Jr. shot hasn’t been revealed.

The increase in horrific pranks resulted in YouTube releasing a rule that banned threatening or dangerous stunts.

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Starnes Jr. claimed self-defense as his reason for the shooting and isn’t currently facing any charges for the fatal event. Wilks’ death is the most recent of YouTube pranks gone wrong, which have made headlines.

A similar story made rounds last August when twin YouTuber brothers Alan and Alex Stokes pretended to rob a bank and were charged with false imprisonment. The siblings were all dressed in black outfits and carried duffle bags.

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They ordered an Uber to act as a getaway car, but the driver refused to move, and this caught the attention of the police nearby. The twins and the driver were arrested, with the latter released soon. 

A warning was issued to the Stokes twins, but that didn’t stop them from trying to prank another stranger hours later. The increase in horrific pranks resulted in YouTube releasing a rule that banned threatening or dangerous stunts in 2019.

The video-sharing company explained that such harmful materials have no place on their platform. However, reports reveal that such videos still exist and garner millions of views because what is considered dangerous remains vague.

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