A Chinese grandfather playing Pokémon Go to bond with his grandchildren was gunned down by a neighborhood rent-a-cop in Chesapeake who was not supposed to be armed.
A game that takes most of its players on an athletic adventure may have lead one local Chinese man to his death.
According to a local attorney, 60-year-old Jiansheng Chen of Chesapeake was playing Pokémon Go on Thursday when he was shot and killed by a neighborhood security guard.
“I did not want the public to misunderstand Mr. Chen,” said the attorney Greg Sandler, who believes the incident escalated partially because of a language barrier.
Sandler represents Chen and his family. He says Chen showed up to the club house in the River Walk neighborhood of Chesapeake because there is a Pokémon Go gym at that location.
Sandler says Chen played Pokémon Go to bond with his grandchildren.
“I cannot imagine what could have justified shooting through the front windshield of Mr. Chen’s van five times,” Sandler told News 3’s Merris Badcock Monday morning.
While Chen was gaming, he was allegedly approached by a security guard for the neighborhood. According to police, a confrontation ensued and Chen was shot and killed.
“His family is a homeowner in the area,” said Sandler. “Ironically, he is one of the people security is supposed to be protecting as a homeowner.”
The River Walk Community Association has a contract with a local security company for “unarmed roving patrol services,” meaning that their cadre of Paul Blarts is supposed to “observe and report” suspicious behavior to actual law enforcement officers if they see something amiss.
The company that employed the guard is Citywide Protection Services. They claim to employ both “armed and unarmed officers,” but make no mention of the training they require of their armed officers, and attempts to ask the company about their training has failed. We cannot access a human employee via Citywide’s phone system, and Citywide has not returned our call for information, as they apparently have not for other media outlets.
We’re forced to hope that the company follows Virginia’s rather minimal training requirement of Armed Security Officers, though a witnesses description of the guard’s behavior after the shooting makes me doubt his basic competency.
A witness who asked News 3 to protect her identity said she heard five gun shots. She was able to look out her window to see what happened.
“I could see the security guard pointing at the car and he was yelling at the guy but I could clearly see that the guy was deceased,” she says. “The security guard kind of panicked, started cursing, I saw him pace around the car.”
We appear to either have a state-licensed armed security officer fulfilling a contract for an unarmed security service who fired five shots at an unarmed grandfather playing a video game in his own vehicle for reasons not yet explained, or we have an “unarmed” security guard who decided to bring a personal weapon to work in violation of the contract for unarmed security who fired five shots at an unarmed grandfather playing a video game in his own vehicle.
Neither looks very good for Citywide or the employee from a legal perspective.
The shooting is under active investigation by Chesapeake Police.