Tennessee Man Fatally Shoots Prankster Participating In YouTube Video Gone Wrong

The victim wielded a butcher knife as part of a fake robbery, police said

February 08, 2021

Image taken from WKRN/Roger Fregoso

Image taken from WKRN/Roger Fregoso

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A Tennessee man is claiming self-defense after what was meant to be a “prank” robbery for a YouTube video took a tragic turn, authorities said.

On the evening of February 5, David Starnes Jr., 23, was with a group of people in the parking lot of Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Hermitage when Timothy Wilks, 20, and an unidentified friend allegedly approached them wielding butcher knives, according to a Nashville police news release.

Wilks and his friend allegedly were staging the prank robbery video for social media. Starnes, who told detectives he didn’t know the holdup was fake, said he shot Wilks in self-defense.

Trampoline park customer Emily Yeager explained to Nashville’s WKRN-TV that the shooting occurred in an area that is popular with children.

“It’s just like that would not be a great idea, especially if anyone was walking out here or something like that,” Yeager said.

No charges have been filed in the case and the investigation is continuing, police said.

Next Up

True Crime News Roundup: Arrest Made In Fatal Shooting Of A Military Mother Visiting Her Son’s Grave

Plus: Woman accused of using kiss to pass drugs to inmate boyfriend who overdosed; authorities limit search for California teen who went missing after graduation party; Salman Rushdie attacker pleads not guilty; and ex-cop in Kansas suspected of 10-year sex-assault spree, police say.

Trials Loom For Defendants Suspected Of Rapper Young Dolph’s Pre-Thanksgiving Murder

The entertainer and businessman was gunned down in November 2021 while buying cookies at a Memphis bakery.

Teens Arrested In Shooting Death Of Tennessee High School Class President

17-year-old Christine Michael had recently left a basketball game when someone began shooting at the car in which she was riding on Feb. 10.

A Small Tennessee Town Was Rocked by A Friendly-Fire Shooting Thanksgiving Weekend in 2003

A Thanksgiving Weekend drug bust left a Scott County, Tennessee, sheriff’s deputy dead and his family with questions about the bullet that took his life.

Captured: Two Fugitives Featured On ‘In Pursuit With John Walsh’ Behind Bars

In January 2023, authorities in two states confirmed Timothy Jabbar Wyatt and James Marques Smith were arrested and are now behind bars facing charges.

More Than Half A Century After His Assassination, Dr. King’s Legacy Lives On

On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray shot and killed the civil rights leader while he stood on the balcony of his Memphis motel room.

Murdered Man Found On Tennessee Trail Identified Nearly Four Decades Later

37 years after the skeletal remains of a murdered man were found by hunters, he has finally been identified as Jerry Harrison. The mystery surrounding his death remains.

New York Man’s Murder Charge Vacated After Deceptive Photo Lineup Sent Him To Prison For 18 Years

Sheldon Thomas was arrested after a witness chose the picture of another man with his same name.

Remembering Selena: ‘She Was Just An Amazing Soul’

The iconic musician was shot and killed by the president of her fan club almost three decades ago.

True Crime News Roundup: Chicago Woman Accused Of Killing And Dismembering Her Landlord

Plus: Parkland mass shooter to be sentenced to life; 15-year-old allegedly kills five in Raleigh shooting spree; Alex Jones ordered to pay $1 billion in damages to Sandy Hook victim families.