Man who shot YouTuber who was playing prank on him for video found not guilty
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Loudoun County Sheriff / WUSA-TV
A man has been cleared by a jury after shooting a YouTuber in the stomach.
Colie admitted to shooting Cook, saying that he had acted in self defence. He also said that he routinely carries a gun at work as a Door Dash driver after hearing reports of other drivers being robbed.
On 2 April Cook and a friend had approached Collie at the food court in Dulles Town Center to make a video for their YouTube prank channel.
A video that they took shows Cook holding a phone about six inches from Colie's ear while playing a phrase from a translation app while Colie backed away.
Colie claimed that he had felt confused by the phrase that was playing, and that the two had looked 'really cold and angry'.
The video, which has not been made public, then shows Colie shooting Cook after they approach him. At no point did Cook touch him.
Colie told the jury: “In my mind, I registered that he was a threat to me, and he was going to harm me. I saw his left hand down in his left pocket. I didn’t know if he was concealing a weapon.
"For the sake of my safety, I took out the gun from my right pocket and I shot him in the stomach. At that time, I was fearful that my life was in danger.”
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Eden Holmes questioned Colie on the 20 second interaction.
She asked: “In those 20 seconds, you felt the only option was to take out your gun?”
Colie replied: “Those were my thoughts."
Holmes later said: "We don’t like our personal space invaded, but that does not justify the ability to shoot someone in a public space during an interaction that lasted for only 20 seconds.'
Adam Pouilliard, Colie's defense attorney, said: "Colie walked into the mall to do his job with no intention of interacting with Tanner Cook. None.
"He’s sitting next to his defense attorneys right now. How’s that for a consequence?”
The Commonwealth also argued that Cook had never placed hands on Colie, and was unarmed.
Colie was cleared of aggravated malicious wounding and use of a firearm for aggravated malicious wounding. He was convicted of firing gun inside the mall.
Speaking about the outcome, Cook said: "I really don't care, I mean it is what it is. It's God's plan at the end of the day."
Cook's mom Marla Elam said that she accepts the jury's acquittal and is just glad that her son is alive.
"Nothing else matters right now," she said.