A 21-year-old man claimed he was filming a practical joke for his YouTube account in a Dulles, Virginia mall when a prankee became enraged and shot him in the abdomen.
According to CBS News affiliate station WUSA, Tanner Cook, a prankster on the YouTube page Classified Goons, was in critical care on Sunday after a bullet pierced his stomach and liver.
He is still in the infirmary after undergoing surgery. Cook’s father, Jeramy Cook, told Insider that his son’s gallbladder was removed during surgery and that he’d been on strong pain medicine. The elder Cook expressed optimism that his son would recuperate.
Speaking to WUSA from his hospital bed, Cook said: “I was playing a prank, a simple practical joke, and this guy didn’t take it very well and shot me.”
Insider reported that his father was told by a detective on the case that Cook’s prank on youtube involved Google translate and that Cook was “asking a guy some questions and had his phone in his face, and he didn’t appreciate it.”
Cook, who has nearly 40,000 subscribers on YouTube, frequently uploads videos of himself playing pranks on unsuspecting members of the public.
Previous recordings show him going behind a fast-food counter, following strangers in stores, and pretending to vomit on Uber drivers.
In previous recordings, his victims became agitated and even called the police.
Cook, however, received his most shocking answer to date on Sunday. He and a friend were filming a prank video near the Cheesecake Factory in the Dulles Town Center mall food court when the suspect, Alan Colie, reportedly pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and shot him.
The video, according to Cook’s family, is now part of the evidence against Colie, 31, who was charged with aggravated malicious wounding, shooting in the commission of a crime, and discharging firearms within an occupied building.
Video from Tanner Cook’s Youtube Channel
The elder Cook expressed worry about Colie’s reaction to being “offended.”
“So what happened was he got offended and decided to shoot my son because he was offended at what my son was doing. And so, I just think there’s a greater issue here with too many people being offended, rightly or wrongly, and then going out of control,” he said.
The father also stated that he has received numerous hateful messages on social media from people who think his son deserved to be shot.
“It’s just nasty and terrible,” he said. “I just don’t understand how people can think that, in the world we live in, if you’re offended, it gives you a right to go do things — up to killing somebody if you’re offended.”
However, Cook’s father told Insider that he forgives the gunman.
“Even though this guy tried killing my son, I forgive him. I’m not offended because I serve a God — the God of the Bible, Jesus, and he instructs me how to live, and that’s to not live in offense because these are the kind of things that can happen if you’re consumed with anger and offense,” he said.
Colie appeared in court on Monday and will have a preliminary hearing in May. According to the sheriff’s office, he is being held without bail at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.
Police did not identify Cook by name, but court records show that he was the victim of the shooting.
Despite his injuries, Cook told WUSA he plans to keep creating prank videos.