Early Saturday morning, two Florida teenagers playing Pokemon Go were shot at by a 37-year-old man in Palm Coast, Florida.
The teenagers escaped unharmed, but their car suffered damage, including a “flat tire and bullet holes in the rear tire, hubcap and fender.”
The Orlando Sentinel reports the lead up to the shooting:
‘”A man was sleeping in his Palm Coast area home about 1:30 a.m. when a loud noise woke him up. The 37-year-old looked outside and spotted a white car parked in the road outside his Primrose Lane house,” said Flagler County Sheriff Jim Troiano.’
After the man went outside and saw the vehicle, he told police he heard one of the teens ask the other, “Did you get anything?”
The man then stepped in front of the car and raised his gun, ordering the teens not to move. The teens tried to get away, with the Palm Coast man opening fire and inflicting the damage described above.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the man cited that the teens’ car supposedly “was attempting to strike him” as a justification for his shooting at the teens.
The man’s already flimsy excuses fall apart when considering further details released by the Orlando Sentinel and USA Today.
USA Today pops the balloon and reports that the man fired at the teens before they started to drive away.
‘Moments before the shooting, they said they heard someone say, “did you catch him?” the teens told the sheriff’s office. One of them said, “yeah, did you?” That’s when they heard several shots fired.’
The unnamed Palm Coast man called police Saturday, but officers could not locate the teens’ vehicle as described to them by the shooter. The teens did not tell of the incident until they found the damage to their vehicle.
Following discovering the damage, one of the teens told their mother of the shooting; she in turn presented the teens to the media.
After confirming they were not injured, they reportedly thought someone was “only trying to scare them.”
Will the man who fired at the teens be held accountable? Will he be charged? Maybe. Police have not explicitly commented on any potential charges, with the Orlando Sentinel only noting that “Officials are continuing to investigate the incident.”
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game for smartphones that sends players on searches for the game’s fictional characters in diverse, real world environments. The app quickly shot to the top of the smartphone app charts in the days following its release.
The Florida shooting is far from the first time the game’s players have become victims of a crime.
Insurance Journal collected 10 stories of similar incidents. Included is the story of a group of players robbed at gunpoint, along with the stories of individuals being robbed of their cellphones and money. One Pennsylvania player was hit by a car, suffering serious but not life-threatening injuries. Read the rest of the stories at this link.
The Gun Violence Archive reports that this shooting is the latest among almost 29,000 gun violence incidents since January 1, 2016.
Featured Image is via Pixabay. It is public domain.