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A 20-Year-Old Man Was Fatally Shot While Filming A YouTube "Prank" Robbery

The man who shot Timothy Wilks told police he didn't know that what looked like a robbery was a prank.

Posted on February 7, 2021, at 4:15 p.m. ET

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A 20-year-old man died after he was shot during what his friend said was supposed to be a YouTube prank robbery, according to Nashville police.

Timothy Wilks was fatally shot in the parking lot of Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park around 9:25 p.m. Friday, according to a Metropolitan Nashville Police Department statement. When officers arrived, 23-year-old David Starnes Jr. admitted that he had shot Wilks, believing himself and others to be in danger.

According to police, Wilks and a friend approached a group of people, including Starnes, with butcher knives. It was supposed to be a prank robbery for a YouTube video, the friend told detectives.

Starnes told police that he didn't know about any prank. No arrests have been made, and police said they're investigating whether Starnes acted in self-defense.

Robbery pranks remain popular on YouTube, with some videos getting millions of views. In August, the Stokes twins were charged with a felony and misdemeanor in connection with two bank robbery pranks they filmed for their 6 million subscribers. Lawyers for the twins have said that the two did not commit any crimes in the making of their videos.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.