Once again, an attempt to go viral online has resulted in deadly consequences. In a Tennessee parking lot, a prank robbery gone wrong led to the fatal shooting of one man.
According to police, at approximately 9:20 p.m., a man was fatally shot in the parking lot of Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Hermitage, Tennessee, a neighborhood in Nashville, as he attempted to pull a prank on an unsuspecting group of people.
Timothy Wilks, 20, and one of his friends were filming the “prank” robbery for a YouTube video. As they approached a group of people while brandishing butcher knives, the situation rapidly escalated.
David Starnes, Jr., 23, was one of the intended victims of the prank, although he thought the situation was a real robbery, and reacted accordingly, shooting Wilks.
When police arrived on the scene, Starnes told police that he shot the man to defend himself and the group of people that he was with.
No charges have been filed against Starnes, though an investigation into the incident is ongoing. Nashville Police have released a statement regarding the investigation.
These attempts at fame via social media have only gotten more dangerous over the past few years, as young people have begun to value ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ over real-world accomplishments. If society doesn’t start discouraging this behavior soon, it will only get worse.
One comment on the Fox News article about the incident sums it up quite nicely:
“What kind of parent raises a 20 year old who ‘pretends’ to rob an unsuspecting individual to post a cute little video of it? What kind of parent raises friends of his who think it’s a great idea? The youth of today are so incredibly lonely that anything for attention seems like a great idea. My heart breaks for this generation because they have no direction, no morals, and no understanding of personal responsibility You can try to insult the older generation with all kinds of demeaning language but we were raised in an era where you didn’t let someone else’s opinion deter you from what you wanted out of life. I feel for the younger people who are struggling through this muck of complete self absorption and hope they can be pulled out of it before it pulls them under. I think Jackie Kennedy said it best ‘if we fail in raising our children nothing else we do matters very much’.”