A 20-year-old was shot dead after a YouTube robbery prank went wrong, according to Nashville police

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  • A man died in a shooting sparked by a YouTube prank that went wrong, Nashville police said.

  • Timothy Wilks, 20, was shot Friday after police say he held butcher knives in a parking lot.

  • Prank videos, including robbery pranks, are extremely popular on YouTube.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A 20-year-old man died in a Nashville shooting on Friday night after a YouTube robbery prank went wrong, investigators said.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said in a press release that Timothy Wilks was fatally shot in Nashville's Hermitage neighborhood after he and a friend wielded butcher knives as they approached a group of people in a parking lot. David Starnes Jr., 23, told police he shot Wilks in self-defense, according to the press release. Starnes was "unaware of the prank" when he shot Wilks, the release said.

The friend Wilks was reportedly with has not been publicly identified and the release said the investigation is ongoing. As of Monday afternoon, no charges have been made in the investigation, a representative from the police department's Public Affairs Office told Insider.

In a YouTube climate where prank videos frequently go viral, some attempts, including many dangerous ones, have led to real consequences. Robbery pranks in particular are quite popular, with some major creators participating in the trend.

In August, the Stokes twins, who have more than 6 million YouTube subscribers, were charged with felony counts of false imprisonment in connection with two fake bank robberies they allegedly carried out in 2019.

Insider could not immediately identify the YouTube channel belonging to Wilks and Starnes could not immediately be located.

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