Florida Man Fires Gun At Pokemon GO Players Parked Outside His Home

Reportedly mistaking a pair of teenage Pokemon GO players parked outside his house early Saturday morning for criminals, a Palm Coast, Florida man opened fire on their vehicle. The teens escaped unscathed. The car, not so much.

According to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, as reported by The Daytona Beach News-Journal, the incident occurred around 1:30 AM outside the unnamed man's Primrose Lane home. The exact circumstances of the shooting are a bit hazy, as the man and also unnamed 19 and 16-year-old players are offering slightly different versions of events.

The man told authorities that he was awoken by a loud sound outside of his home and noticed a small white car parked outside with the brake lights on. Grabbing his handgun, he went outside to investigate. He told police that he heard something along the lines of "did you get anything," at which point he stepped in front of the car and told the occupants not to move. The man said that the vehicle then accelerated at him, at which point he ran from the road, fired several shots at the vehicle and then called the police.

When authorities spoke to the young men driving the vehicle, the account given was slightly different, as News 13 reports. The pair were parked on Primrose Lane playing Pokemon GO, when they heard someone say, "Did you catch him?" One of the teens responded to the voice with, "Yeah, did you," at which point they heard gunshots and sped home. Figuring someone had just been trying to scare them and not noticing any damage to the car once they arrived home, they did not alert the police to the incident. It wasn't until the 19-year-old's mother discovered bullet holes in the car and a flat tire the next morning that she contacted authorities.

I'm not sure who to believe here, a pair of teenage boys out at 1:30 AM, or a man who woke up, ran outside and started shooting. I'm just glad no one ended up getting shot for playing a video game.

Flagler County officials are still investigating the incident. In the meantime, they have offered some safety tips for Pokemon GO players, parents of Pokemon GO players and people with guns confused by Pokemon GO players.

Homeowners:

  • Call 911 immediately when you suspect someone is trying to break into your home.
  • If at all possible, be an excellent witness for law enforcement by providing valuable information on what is occurring.
  • Avoid leaving the protection of your home to confront suspects. This should be handled by trained law enforcement officers.

Pokemon GO Hunters:

  • Use common sense, be alert at all times and stay aware of your surroundings. In law enforcement, we call this situational awareness.
  • Watch where you are going.
  • Do not drive or ride your bike, skateboard, or other device while interacting with the Pokemon GO app. You cannot do both safely at the same time.
  • Do not trespass, go onto private property or into any area you usually would not if you weren't playing Pokemon GO.
  • Understand that people can use your location to lure you to "Pokéstops" so they can victimize you.
  • Take a friend with you.
  • If you are a minor, check with a parent before going anywhere and tell an adult or law enforcement officer immediately if anything happens.

Parents of Pokemon GO Hunters:

  • Talk to your kids about strangers and set limits on where your kids can go.
  • Be aware of third-party software apps claiming to enhance the gaming experience. Unfortunately, many of these apps allow access to sensitive personal data.

Comments

    The most disturbing thing here is that in Florida it's more or less okay to shoot people dead simply on the 'suspicion' that they may (or may not) be criminals. I love how the police are giving out safety tips to Pokemon Go players instead of tracking the shooter down and throwing him in jail on attempted murder charges. Thank god for Australia's gun laws.

    Last edited 18/07/16 2:10 pm

      2nd Amendment rights, the man is a Hero (apparently) for attempting to shoot people for no reason.

      They don't need to track him down, he called police, they know who he is. He called them up to tell them he shot at some criminals, he couldn't wait to tell people he got to fire his gun.

        Just like last night's Preacher episode, I was totally confused that the large group was apparently 'in the right'

    What the fuck. This guy sounds like crazy.

    The gun lobby PR department is having a pretty rough month.

    Another example why Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law is a horrible idea.

      Fun fact: "Stand Your Ground" laws apply to residencies, vehicles and workplaces - if the teenagers ran the man down, they'd just as likely be able to use the defense. They'd (or, more importantly, from a legal sense - any reasonable person in their situation) have no way to know that it was a scared resident with a gun or someone going to carjack them.
      Edit: Oh, @transientmind also relevant to your comment.

      Also, wikipedia is the extent of my legal-brains.

      Last edited 18/07/16 4:21 pm

    Isn't parking on the side of the street pretty much public space? Like... I'm pretty sure that's partly why councils reserve the first couple metres of footpath as their own space, right? And it HAS to be super illegal to shoot at people for being parked outside your house, right? If it's not, we need to stop this planet so I can get o-- hm. So THAT asshole can be booted off.

      It's Florida, a man pulled into a wrong driveway once because of his gps, was shot and killed and the person who did it got off Scott free.

      These kids did nothing wrong and the asshole with the gun should be charged for being a public nuisance, even if his story is true. If a madman jumped in front of my car at 1:30am with a gun yelling not to move I'd sure as hell be flooring it.

    I still read "Florida Man" as the name of a really shitty superhero.

      Don't forget his trusty sidekick, Idaho Boy!

    People from Florida are a special breed.
    http://www.alternet.org/why-florida-so-weird-zillion-examples-and-5-theories

    My Brother lives in Florida and enjoys, it pretty much sums up why i have very little to do with him :P.

    its pretty obvious that some people really will be killed while playing this game

    This gun toting jackass was clearly thunking "hey ima gonna bag me some drug addicts with mah gun!" after hearing "did you get anything?". And even if they had just scored drugs instead of a dragonite or whatevs it was none of his fucking business. They weren't trespassing or threatening him, he just wanted to be a hero. I detest racism usually but you know what? Fuck Merica. They're mad to a man and its equally sad and unsurprising that a day doesn't go by where there isn't a story abouy their de-evolving society. Sorry but im fucking over their bullshit soooo much. Rant done, sorry folks.

    Florida, amiright??

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