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YouTube Prankster Shot in the Chest During Prank Reacts After Gunman Acquitted

A jury found Alan Colie not guilty Thursday in the shooting of Tanner Cook, who runs the "Classified Goons" channel

<p>WUSA9</p> Tanner Cook


Tanner Cook

YouTube prankster Tanner Cook spoke out after a Virginia jury acquitted the man who shot him in a mall food court earlier this year.

On Thursday, the jury found delivery driver Alan Colie, 31, not guilty of aggravated malicious wounding in the shooting of Cook, 21, who runs the Classified Goons YouTube channel, according to NBC News, Fox News and WUSA9.

Cook reacted to the verdict as he left a Leesburg, Va., courthouse on Thursday.

"I really don't care. It is what it is. It's God's plan at the end of the day," he told WUSA 9, which captured a video of him and his mother.

Asked by the station's reporter if he had any comments for people who question the nature of his YouTube content, Cook said, "I don't know. I guess we'll have to just keep watching."

As for whether he plans to continue making videos despite the incident with Colie, Cook replied, "Probably."

Cook's mother told WUSA9's reporter they "respect" the jury's decision.

"At the end of the day, you know we respect what the jury says, and my family and I are just grateful and thankful that I have my son here and nothing else matters right now — and that's it," she said, before taking a moment to praise the prosecutors who took the case to trial.

Related: 21-Year-Old YouTuber Tanner Cook Says He Was Shot During Virginia Mall Prank Video, Man Arrested

"They did an outstanding job presenting the case, and we couldn't have it any better," she continued. "And regardless of the outcome, you know the jury is still the jury and we totally respect how our law [system] plays out and this was the outcome today and we respect that."

According to NBC News, the jury was split on two lesser firearms counts and opted to convict Colie on one and acquit him on the other. The verdict was reached after about five hours of deliberation. Colie had pleaded not guilty and said he was acting in self-defense.

Cook was hospitalized following the April 2 incident at the Dulles Town Center in Sterling, Va., when Colie allegedly shot the content creator in the chest in the mall's food court. The YouTuber's friend, who had been filming the prank, captured the moment when Colie pulled out a gun.

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Cook later spoke out about the shooting from his hospital bed. "I was playing a prank and a simple practical joke, and this guy didn't take it very well," he told WUSA9 at the time. "He didn't say anything to me."

He also posted a YouTube video in July titled "I Got Shot!" featuring footage of the aftermath of the shooting.

Cook's father, Jeramy Cook, provided WUSA9 with more details about the incident. "They were making a video at the mall and trying to have fun with people and this guy wasn't having fun," he said of Colie's reaction. "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."

Police said at the time that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office had received reports of shots fired at the mall just before noon on April 2. Officers responded within minutes, and Cook was treated at the scene before being transported to a local hospital.

Colie was arrested and charged with "aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and discharging a firearm within a building," police said.

"The shooting resulted from an interaction between the victim and Colie in the food court," police added.

Colie, who has been in custody since his arrest, will remain incarcerated, per NBC News. His defense attorney, Adam Pouilliard, has asked for his client's conviction to be set aside, arguing that Colie's conviction on the firearms charge is inconsistent with the law, given his acquittal on self-defense grounds. A judge will hear arguments on the motion at a hearing on Oct. 19.

During his closing arguments, Pouilliard said Colie felt threatened by Cook during their food court confrontation, which Pouilliard said was designed by Cook to provoke a reaction from Colie and therein create engaging content for his viewers.

"[Cook] is trying to confuse people to post videos. He’s not worried that he’s scaring people. He keeps doing this,” Pouilliard said, per NBC News.

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