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Man Fatally Shot During Robbery ‘Prank’ For YouTube

Nashville, TN – Police are investigating a failed YouTube prank that left one man dead the night of Feb. 5.

The incident occurred at about 9:25 p.m. on Feb. 5 in the parking lot of the Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Hermitage, the Associated Press reported.

Witnesses told police they saw two men – one of whom was later identified as 20-year-old Timothy Wilks – carrying butcher knives as they approached a group of people.

Detectives told reporters that Wilks and his friend were pulling a “prank” robbery for his YouTube channel, WKRN reported.

But the people that Wilks and his co-conspirator approached had no idea that the robbery was a prank.

As Wilks approached with the knives, 23-year-old David Starnes pulled out his gun and fatally shot Wilks, according to the Associated Press.

Starnes told investigators he had no idea there was any sort of prank going on and that he had shot Wilks in self-defense.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident but so far, no charges have been filed in connection with Wilks’ death, The Washington Post reported.

Metro Nashville police have not said whether Starnes had a gun permit for the weapon he used to fatally shoot Wilks, NBC News reported.

So far, no information has been released about the friend who was pulling the robbery prank with Wilks when he was shot.

Emily Yeager, a customer at Urban Air, said she thought the whole idea to pull that sort of prank at a family entertainment venue was a bad idea, WKRN reported.

“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,” Yeager said. “Especially if anyone was walking out here or something like that.”

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Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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