Inside the Case of 20-Year-Old Blogger Timothy Wilks Who Was Killed While Filming a Prank
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.
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:
“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.”
The man who shot Timothy Wilks told police he didn't know that what looked like a robbery was a prank. https://t.co/q47Nd9yNhp— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) February 7, 2021
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.
How Youtuber Timothy Wilks Who Is Known For Pranking Black People In Low-Income Neighborhoods Was Shot And Killed After Trying To Prank A Black Man Who Was Legally Carrying His Gun (Video) https://t.co/N7tGjWKAfl via @BasketballguruD pic.twitter.com/KREvuPPlvW— Robert Littal BSO (@BSO) February 9, 2021
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.
Investigators were told that Timothy Wilks and a friend approached a group of people, including David Starnes Jr., with butcher knives while participating in a "prank" robbery for a YouTube video. https://t.co/d3n0oxx0n4— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 7, 2021
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.
"@gidifeedtv: 20 yr old youtuber Timothy Wilks was killed after he approached a group of guys with butcher knives as part of a 'prank' robbery for youtube.. shooter said he was unaware of the prank & shot him to defend himself & others. No one has been charged in Wilks' death. pic.twitter.com/FEZ8fpnJuH— GIDITRAFFIC (@Gidi_Traffic) February 9, 2021
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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