The first confirmed Pokémon GO death has been confirmed in Guatemala. Jerson Lopez de Leon, 18, was killed while playing the popular app as he hunted the streets of Chiquimula for the elusive Pokémon characters. While playing the game, Jerson and his 17-year-old cousin Daniel Moises Picen were ambushed by a group of gun-wielding robbers. The murderers fatally shot Jerson and Daniel was shot in the feet but is expected to recover.
The Daily Mail reports that two teens in Guatemala were gunned down as they played the popular Pokémon GO app. The two Pokémon trainers were walking in the town of Chiquimula along some railroad tracks when an agricultural van pulled up next to them. Police believe that the murder was a mobile phone robbery gone bad in which the men in the van opened fire on Jerson and Daniel as they played the game.
Teen is shot and killed while playing Pokémon Go in Guatemala https://t.co/iKsYPkbC2A
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) July 20, 2016
Jerson’s mother says that the teen was asleep in his bed when his cousin Daniel sent him a text message telling him to download the game app and meet him a few blocks from his home.
“I don’t know why my son left the house. He was already in bed when his cousin sent him a message asking him to go out and download a game a few blocks from the house.”
Therefore, it seems that Jerson had just downloaded the Pokémon GO app and was out on his first Pokémon hunt when the horrific attack took place. Police say they are looking for the men in the agricultural van that witnesses say quickly fled the scene following the murder. While police initially reported that they thought the murder was the result of an attempted phone robbery, they are also following a lead that one of the teens was targeted by the group for an unknown reason and was tracked down via cell phone GPS.
— TheLADbible (@TheLadBible) July 20, 2016
While this is the first reported death of an individual playing the popular Pokémon game, authorities have been warning about the dangers of the game since it went live last week. In fact, since the game was released, there have already been reports of injuries to players including two men that fell off of a California cliff while hunting for the fictional creatures.
Pokemon & Land Mines Don’t Mix ★ Pokemon Go https://t.co/17un07xqkp
— KABALYERO (@kabalyero) July 20, 2016
Officials in Bosnia have warned Pokémon trainers of dangers associated searching for the creatures in areas littered with land mines. CNN reports that while most Pokémon players are concerned with running into a fence or tripping over a stump while playing the popular game, players in Bosnia are worried about more pressing issues, such as stepping on a land mine.
“We received information that there are cases where users of the Pokemon Go app in Bosnia are entering into mined forests and risky areas in order to find Pokemon. We ask all citizens to respect all signs warning them about mines and to not enter areas unfamiliar to them.”
— KTLA (@KTLA) July 20, 2016
Officials are also warning of the dangers of trespassing as players have been threatened by homeowners after being mistaken for buglers. The problems will likely continue as smartphone users are officially using Pokémon GO more than Facebook. The average iPhone user is spending 33 minutes on Pokémon GO while only spending 22 minutes on the popular social media site, Facebook.
What do you think about the first confirmed Pokémon GO death?