Pokemon GO, possibly the most popular game version of Pokemon ever, led to another tragic death this past week when a neighborhood security guard shot and killed an elderly man parked in a minivan who was playing the title.
Jiangsheng Chen, 60, was sitting in his van in Chesapeake, Virginia, outside the River Walk neighborhood clubhouse, which is a Pokemon GO gym, when he was confronted by a security guard. The River Walk Community Association acknowledged that they do indeed have a contract for security, and claimed to be cooperating fully with authorities.
Wavy reports that “The River Walk Community Association does have a contract for unarmed roving patrol services for the common areas of the community. We are fully cooperating with authorities investigating the incident that took place just outside association property.”
According to reports, Chen and the security guard got into an altercation of some sort shortly before the shooting. Jiangsheng’s family believes the altercation may have been a result of a language barrier. Chen’s brother claims Chen could only speak a very few phrases of English, such as “sorry” or “bye.”
One of the big issues surrounding the shooting is why the guard was armed in the first place. As pointed out, River Walk only contracted for unarmed security.
Greg Sandler, the attorney for the Pokemon GO player’s family, told WTKR, “I cannot imagine what could have justified shooting through the front windshield of Mr. Chen’s van five times…. His family is a homeowner in the area… Ironically, he is one of the people security is supposed to be protecting as a homeowner.”
Chen’s family says the grandfather did not own a firearm. Chen reportedly played Pokemon GO as a way to bond with his children and grandchildren. A gym, like the one he was at, requires players to stay at the location in order to train/level up the players’ Pokemon.
The police have not yet released the identity of the security guard in question as he has not been charged with anything at this time. However, the police did assert that the case is still active and is undergoing a thorough investigation.
Pokemon GO, while a great way to meet new people and interact with fellow enthusiasts, has taken much flak since its release due to the number of dangerous accidents negligent pedestrians and drivers have gotten into. There have been numerous instances of trespassing and many occasions of bodily injury. In Florida, a homeowner shot at a pair of teenagers who were mistaken for burglars.
Rumored to be the first death caused by someone playing Pokemon GO (or rather their carelessness while doing so), Jerson Lopez de Leon of Guatemala was playing the game with a cousin when they decided to break into a home in pursuit of the cyber creatures. Jerson was killed and his cousin was badly wounded.
Another infamous incident includes the pair of hikers who walked off a 90-foot cliff and had to be rescued. There was also the case of three teenagers who were caught trespassing at a nuclear power plant.
There have also been a number of robberies of the app’s players where thieves have noted secluded locations the players frequent. Dead bodies have been found during game play as well.
And at one point, a group of about 20 teenagers had to have rescuers called in when they stole a boat and went out to the middle of a lake. They somehow managed to flee the scene before the rescuers arrived.
So what are your thoughts on the shooting of this Pokemon GO player? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images]