YouTube prankster Tanner Cook said in court on Tuesday that he had no idea he had scared or angered Alan Colie, 31, who ended up allegedly shooting him during a prank.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office initially arrested Colie in connection with the April 2 shooting in the food court at Dulles Town Center and was charged with aggravated malicious wounding and two firearms counts.
Cook operates the “Classified Goons” channel on YouTube, which has over 55,000 subscribers.
The YouTube channel films “pranks” in public settings. In one video, Cook and a friend dress up as clowns and ride around a grocery store in handicapped scooters.
Another video shows Cook accusing people of stealing animals in PetSmart.
During Tuesday’s hearing, jurors saw a video of the shooting that was recorded by Cook’s associates.
In the video, Cook could be seen approaching Colie, a DoorDash driver, while he picked up an order.
Cook, who is 6-foot-5, could be seen holding a cell phone about 6 inches from Colie’s face. The cellphone broadcasted the phrase “Hey dips—-, quit thinking about my twinkle” through a Google Translate app several times.
Colie could be heard saying “stop” on three separate occasions and tried to back away from Cook, who continued to advance towards him.
Colie attempted to knock the phone away from his face before he allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Cook in the lower left chest.
Cook said during the hearing that he tries to confuse targets of his pranks for the amusement of his online audience and doesn’t try to elicit fear or anger, but said his targets often react that way.
When Cook was asked why he didn’t stop the prank despite requests from Colie, he said that he “almost did” stop, but not because he sensed fear or anger, but rather because Colie wasn’t giving the type of expected reaction.
“It was stupid. It was silly. And you may even think it was offensive,” prosecutor Pamela Jones said during the hearing. “But that’s all it was — a cellphone in the ear that got Tanner shot.”
Defense attorney Tabatha Blake said that the prosecution’s accounting of the incident “diminishes how unsettling they were to Mr. Alan Colie at the time they occurred.”
Cook’s father, Jeramy Cook, told Fox News Digital previously his son is a “good kid.”
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.