YouTuber Timothy Wilks Shot Dead While Filming a Robbery Prank

According to Nashville police, 20-year-old Timothy Wilks was fatally shot when a YouTube prank went terribly wrong.

By Cydney Contreras Feb 09, 2021 3:11 AMTags
Watch: YouTube Duo Stokes Twins Charged for Bank Robbery Pranks

A Tennessee man is dead after participating in a prank robbery for a YouTube video.

According to a press release shared by Nashville authorities, 20-year-old YouTuber Timothy Wilks was shot dead in the parking lot of a Hermitage, Tenn. trampoline park on the evening of Friday, Feb. 5.

Police state that Wilks and a friend, who was not identified in the press release, allegedly approached a group of people with butcher knives in their hands. According to police, Wilks and the other individual intended to stage a fake robbery as part of a YouTube video. David Starnes Jr. then shot Wilks.

When authorities arrived on the scene, Starnes Jr. claimed he pulled the trigger in self-defense and was "unaware" that it was only a prank.

Starnes Jr. is not currently facing charges. 

Police are investigating his self-defense claim. 

Wilks' death amplifies an ongoing trend of YouTube pranks going awry.

Over the years, multiple vloggers have found themselves in hot water after participating in similar schemes, and in extreme cases some have faced criminal charges for their actions. 

Troubling YouTube Star Tragedies

Last August, popular YouTubers Alan and Alex Stokes were charged with false imprisonment and swatting after pretending to rob a bank not once, but twice. 


According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, the twins dressed in all black and carried duffle bags, before ordering an Uber driver to act as their getaway car. The driver refused to move and was later held at gunpoint by police after a bystander reported the incident. 

Police released the Uber driver and issued a warning to the Stokes twins, who attempted to prank another individual just hours later.