Prank Robbing Continue to Endanger Lives
Vlogger Timothy Wilks Shot Dead in Prank Robbery Gone Wrong
In another prank robbery gone wrong, Timothy Wilks, 20, was killed during the filming of a video for his YouTube channel. The video was going to feature Wilks and his friend approaching a group of people, butcher knives in hand, imitating an armed robbery.
Approaching a group of people outside of Hermitage Trampoline Park in Tennessee, Timothy Wilks and his friend approached a small group of people. With butcher-knives in hand, Wilks intended to stage one of a ‘Prank Robbery’ for his popular YouTube channel. What transpired was tragic, but not unexpected.
David Starnes, Jr., a member of the approached group, was legally allowed to carry a firearm, and at the time was in possession of a handgun. Once he was given the impression that he and his friends were about to be robbed at knife-point, he opened fire, killing Wilks.
Since the shooting, Starnes has claimed that he opened fire out of self-defense, unaware that it was only a prank. Police are currently investigating the incident, and Starnes is not facing charges as of writing. However, the case serves as a testament to the dangers of the trend of prank robberies on platforms like YouTube.
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The incident is a tragic and timely reminder of the dangers of the modern prank robbery phenomenon on YouTube. With some videos getting millions of views, it is a dangerous activity with a high level of financial returns, if successful. It is understanding that people like Wilks choose to make such content, considering the popularity of these videos.
However, with multiple cases in the past few years of endangerment, legal actions, and violence, this latest tragedy has opened a much-needed discussion into the efficacy of prank robberies as a content format.
We express our condolences to Wilks' family and friends during this difficult time.
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