Florida Cops Killed Someone Over Shoplifted Pokémon Cards

Florida Cops Killed Someone Over Shoplifted Pokémon Cards
Image: Kotaku / Brendan Smialowski, Getty Images

Osceola County Sheriff’s Office deputies opened fire on four suspects believed to have stolen Pokémon cards and a pizza, Vice reports. One died after being transported to a hospital, while two others were charged with petty theft.

Multiple units converged on a Target in Kissimmee, Florida last Wednesday night in response to a black Audi with obscured registration tags, according to an affidavit written by a Deputy Cole Miller and obtained by Kotaku.

Upon spotting two teenagers — who were immediately deemed “suspicious” for wearing hoodies and masks in the middle of a global pandemic — exit the vehicle, officers were reportedly told by a loss prevention officer inside the Target that the same teens were seen concealing Pokémon cards and a pizza. Miller says he confirmed these details via surveillance footage after the fact.

While Miller’s charging affidavit spares no detail describing the events leading up to the shooting, what happened when the alleged suspects left the store is murky at best, thanks in part to his account utilising the vague, passive voice often employed in these situations to distance police from their actions.

“Contact was attempted with the black Audi by multiple units after circling the parking lot and being occupied by others,” the affidavit reads. “A takedown was attempted which resulted in an officer-involved shooting.”

The ensuing hail of gunfire described by witnesses on the scene injured both suspects and fatally wounded another. A fourth suspect was also detained, according to the Orlando Sentinel, but it’s unclear if they were charged. All were taken to a local hospital, with one survivor still unable to make a court appearance as of April 28. None of the suspects were reported to have been in possession of any weapons.

The two sheriff’s deputies responsible for the shooting will not be named due to a Florida law that, in part, shields police involved in fatal shootings from having their identities made public. Both officers are in “good health” after killing an unarmed man for stealing Pokémon cards, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos López relayed during a press conference on Wednesday night.

“I believe my deputies are justified in all their actions,” Lopez told a local Fox affiliate. “I have […] 200% trust in everything they do based on their training and their experience. Things escalate. This is the real world.”

While supply is finally starting to catch up with demand, Pokémon cards were for a time considered a valuable commodity for collectors and scalpers alike. Target previously instructed employees to call the cops on customers lining up outside stores before they opened at the height of the recent craze before briefly halting sales of the cards altogether last May.

This latest tragedy serves as a grim reminder that “Serve and Protect” may be law enforcement’s de facto mission statement, but it comes with an implicit “Property” attached to the end.

 

Comments

  • Wow.

    A simple click through to one of the sources has these words: “All you hear are shots going ‘bom bom bom bom bom.’ And then you heard return fire, ‘Bom bom bom bom bom.'”

    At no point in the article was it mentioned that the suspects fired on the officers which, quite frankly, just makes this article needlessly inflamatory.

    I suppose this is just my daily reminder to everyone to don’t believe everything you read the on the internet.

    • You appear to be missing this pertinent sentence. “None of the suspects were reported to have been in possession of any weapons.”
      If they had weapons the police would have said as much.

      • The police have, according to all the links which I have just rechecked, said next to nothing. Your quote may as well of said “None of the suspects were reported to have given money to the Trump campaign in the last few weeks.”

        What we do have, is the quote I provided from someone who apparently has more information than what the police have released.

      • None of the sources state they were unarmed either, that is entirely this author’s claim. And given this author’s history of misrepresenting things I’m inclined to wait until somebody else, ANYBODY else, can verify things with facts instead of making shit up as they go like is happening here.

        The amount of shots fired according to varying sources suggests they were either armed, or the officers are completely fucking INSANE… But there’s simply been no confirmation either way, unlike what old Ian Walker’s ‘journalism’ would have people believe.

    • Wow.

      A simple read through several articles and watching a few videos shows that there is no mention of the offenders being armed at all.

      At no point does the article mention that the suspects fired on officers. Because all accounts bar one say that didn’t happen bar one.

      The only mention of return fire is from one witness interviewed on tv giving the mention ‘bom bom bom’ quote. Who didn’t witness first hand, only heard the shots then crawled through bushes for a look.

      The police department themselves have let out a report that makes no mention of being fired upon.

      The attorney of one of those shot said they were shot multiple times in each hands while there hands were up. The 20 year old driver of the car was killed whilst still in the car

      The police officers are in good health.

      And there’s obviously a lot more too this. Was the article needlessly inflammatory? I feel there’s a reaction there of sadness to a loss of human life over something so petty that’s stirred a need for the other to share their opinion.

      I suppose this is just a daily reminder to everyone not believe everything you read the on the internet.

  • I’d like to believe that this story is here because of the addition of “Pokemon cards”… But considering there was no story about the man who tunnelled into a store to steal Pokemon cards, or another guy defrauding the Small Business Association to use a small business relief grant to buy Pokemon cards… Or how last year, a civilian pulled out a gun in the parking lot over Pokemon cards… I have a feeling this article has very little to do with the Pokemon cards…

    • No, its more lefty “journalism” aimed at police forces to sway public opinion about defunding them. Its moronic and really has no place on this website.

    • Had actually put links to the stories you mentioned but apparently links (even to Kotaku) put you in eternal moderation, so I’ll just say you can find most of the stories that you believe there are no stories for on this site by simply searching for them, and a whole lot more involving Pokemon theft.

      • I did that before I posted. Found exactly 2 articles of Pokemon card theft in the last two years (neither were the ones I mentioned, which happened this year),

        The third (gun pulling incident) is mentioned (as “a fight”) in a link (to an outside source), in another linked article discussing Target stopping sales of trading cards.

        So… 1 out of the 3 isn’t “most” and even with that one, I’m being very generous in giving to you, considering it was a passing reference linked to an outside article.

  • So Ian here made assumptions on This incident based on no factual information.

    You’d think after the Jussie incident you would learn to not jump to conclusions.

    How about actually waiting for an investigation to occur? Because we know what this article is really about

    “Cop always bad, I so heroic because I think all cops are bad”

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