A Georgia teen claims he was pulling a prank when he walked into a vape shop masked, armed and demanded specific products from the employee.
On Thursday night, a man wearing a mask and dark clothing entered the Smoke Stars Vape store in Canton, Georgia, and pointed a gun at the employee. Surveillance video shows the man pointing his gun at the cashier and demanding that he hand over certain items.
Then, strangely enough, the gunslinger laughs. He removes his mask and tells the terrified employee that he was just kidding.
“Hey, dude. That’s not funny,” says the clerk.
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“Oh my God, brother. Oh my God, I got you,” says the man. He tells the clerk that the gun was “just a fucking BB gun”, then leaves with an apology.
But the police say it was not a joke.
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office deputies used the surveillance footage to identify the man as 18-year-old Brandon McMahon, a student at Woodstock High School. He has been charged with criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
The sheriff’s office says McMahon claimed he was making a prank for a YouTube video, but they don’t believe him.
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“There’s no other person in there with him, no one was videotaping him, he doesn’t have a YouTube channel like he says,” Capt. Jay Baker told Fox 5.
Baker warned that if it was a joke, it would be stupid and dangerous.
“Something like that happens, not only could the employee shoot him, but a bystander could try to protect the employee, it’s very dangerous,” the captain said.
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However, investigators say it was a true robbery attempt in which the suspect chickened out.
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Police said McMahon claimed the firearm was just an airsoft pistol, but a search of his home found a .357 Magnum that they believe was used in the crime.
“This was an actual armed robbery that he changed his mind about during the act and tried to play it down and leave the scene,” Baker said.