The Dulles Town Center shooting victim claimed he was making a prank video for YouTube when he was shot. One bullet had pierced through Tanner Cook’s stomach and liver, and the next day he was still in the intensive care unit with his mother by his side.
Tanner Cook was not publicly identified by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office; however, Alan Colie, 31, of Leesburg was identified as such by court documents and the judge presiding over Colie’s arraignment in the Loudoun County General District Court.
On Sunday, authorities arrested and formally charged Colie with aggravated malicious wounding, firearm use in the commission of a felony, and firing a firearm inside a structure. According to Sheriff Mike Chapman, a fight broke out in the food court before the shooting. Mall patrons fled in terror as shots rang out.
Colie’s arrest on the ground was caught on camera by Instagram user @thisismyu5ername. While authorities continue their probe, Cook gave an exclusive interview to WUSA9 from his hospital bed. Classified Goons creator Cook claimed he was joking around with Colie for another video.
“I was playing a prank and a simple practical joke, and this guy didn’t take it very well,” said Tanner Cook. When Colie allegedly pulled out a gun, his friend started filming. According to the family, the video is now official evidence.
“He didn’t say anything to me,” added Tanner Cook. The shooting of Tanner Cook, according to Cook’s father, was shocking and unnecessary, regardless of the circumstances that led to it.
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“They were making a video at the mall and trying to have fun with people and this guy wasn’t having fun,” added Jeramy Cook. “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.”
Tanner Cook emphasized that his family is putting their faith in God and rallying around his youngster. He went so far as to say he had no resentment or animosity toward Colie.
“We need restoration, we need healing, and we need to come together,” said Jeramy Cook. “I pray for this young man and pray that he finds God in this. I believe that God saved our son’s life, and he could have easily died but that’s not the outcome. God has plans for my son.”
YouTuber making prank video shot at Virginia mall https://t.co/2Yh6bzAfb1
— WFAA (@wfaa) April 4, 2023
“It’s surreal,” said his grandfather Mike Cook. “It’s obviously been unnerving and some fear running in and out, but we live on faith and not fear.” On Monday, after being closed for an entire day, the mall once again welcomed shoppers. Phyllis Randall, chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, said she received numerous calls from concerned residents.
She is concerned not only for the victim but also for the bystanders. “I’ve heard from so many of my constituents and they’re traumatized,” said Randall. “The victims are more than just people directly involved. People have secondary trauma from this and may never walk back into this mall again.”
Tanner Cook has stated that he will continue making films despite his ailments. On Monday, at his arraignment, a public defender was appointed to represent Colie.
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