Man Shoots YouTuber Attempting to Prank Him

A YouTube prank went horribly wrong for Classified Goons YouTuber Tanner Cook. The 21-year-old was shot and critically injured while attempting a prank at Dulles Town Center Mall in Sterling, Virginia. Alen Colie, 31, was arrested on Sunday for shooting Cook and arraigned Monday.

Collie was charged with aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and discharging a firearm within a building, reports WUSA9. Louden County Sheriff Mike Chapman said the shooting happened after the two men began fighting in the food court, according to court documents. The sheriff's office did not identify Cook as the victim, but he was identified in court documents and by a Loudoun County General District Court judge during Colie's arraignment. The mall was shut down for the rest of the day after the shooting but reopened on Monday.

One bullet pierced through Cook's stomach and liver. He was still in intensive care when he spoke with WUSA9 on Monday. "I was playing a prank and a simple practical joke, and this guy didn't take it very well," Cook told the CBS affiliate.

Cook's friend was recording a video when Colie allegedly took out a gun. An Instagram user published footage of Colie being arrested in the mall. Cook's family said the footage is now evidence in the investigation. "He didn't say anything to me," Cook said of the suspect.

No matter what led to the gunfire, Cook's father, Jeramy, said it was unnecessary. "They were making a video at the mall and trying to have fun with people and this guy wasn't having fun," Jeramy told WUSA9. "There was a phone that was around him and they were interviewing or talking to him, and he didn't like it and he pulled out his gun and shot my son."

Cook's family put their faith in God after he survived the shooting and they hold no ill will towards the suspect. "We need restoration, we need healing, and we need to come together," Jeramy continued. "I pray for this young man and pray that he finds God in this. I believe that God saved our son's life, and he could have easily died but that's not the outcome. God has plans for my son."

Jeramy also told Insider his son has received hateful comments from people who thought Cook deserved to be shot. "It's just nasty and terrible," Jeramy said. "I just don't understand how people can think that, in the world we live in, if you're offended, gives you a right to go do things — up to killing somebody if you're offended." 

Cook plans to resume making videos as soon as he recovers. He was creating a new video for the YouTube page Classified Goons at the time of the shooting. The page features videos of Cook and his friends pranking Target employees, Uber drivers, tennis players, and Eagles fans. They have over 40,000 subscribers.