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.

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