LEESBURG, VIRGINIA — Alan Colie, a 31-year-old delivery driver, was recently found not guilty of aggravated malicious wounding in connection to the shooting of YouTube prankster Tanner Cook, 21, who runs the “Classified Goons” channel. The incident occurred at a food court in Dulles Town Center when Cook approached Colie, seeking to provoke a reaction for his channel. This interaction escalated quickly, with Colie shooting Cook. Colie, who pleaded not guilty, claimed he acted in self-defense, feeling menaced by Cook’s imposing presence and intrusive approach.
The jury, however, was divided on two lesser firearms counts, convicting him on one. The defense attorney argued that this conviction contradicts the acquittal on self-defense grounds, and a hearing is scheduled next month to discuss this inconsistency. Meanwhile, Colie remains in custody.
Cook’s pranks, designed to provoke and confuse, often caused distress among the public, and he has continued to produce these disruptive videos, earning between $2,000 and $3,000 a month. His channel has over 50,000 subscribers and features various disruptive stunts, attracting attention and concern from law enforcement.
Prosecutors argued that Colie’s response was not justified, as Cook’s prank didn’t pose any real threat of imminent bodily harm, claiming his actions were not a reasonable response to Cook’s bizarre yet non-threatening behavior. Colie’s fear and response were central to the debates in court, with the defense highlighting the inherent risks and fears that delivery drivers may experience during their interactions with the public.
Colie’s case shines a spotlight on the potential repercussions of content designed purely for shock value and viewer count, raising questions about the balance between online content creation and public safety.