A Florida man has fired warning shots at two teenagers who were attempting to catch monsters in Pokemon GO near his property in the middle of the night.
Since its release earlier this month, Pokemon GO has been praised for its ability to mobilize young people and encourage them to get more exercise. However, the fact that players have to explore the real world to make progress also has its drawbacks.
A pair of teenagers playing Pokemon GO at 1:30 in the morning have been shot at by a neighbour who believed them to be criminals. The 37-year-old shooter was apparently convinced that the duo were thieves when one asked the other, “did you get anything?”
The man stepped out in front of the teenagers’ vehicle with his handgun pointed at the car, and told them not to move. The driver chose to ignore his instructions, at which point the homeowner fired several shots, under the impression that his target had tried to run him down. No one was hurt.
The trainers initially attempted to keep the situation under wraps, but these efforts were thwarted by an observant parent. Bullet holes in the car and a flat tire prompted the driver’s mother to suspect that the pair got into some kind of trouble beyond running out of Pokeballs.
While there are still lots of missing details about this story, the important questions have already been answered, as per a report from Polygon. The teenagers were looking for Marowak and Tauros — both rather rare Pokemon — and word from The Orlando Sentinel suggests that they managed to catch at least one of the two monsters.
This isn’t the first time that someone has had a gun pointed at them just for playing the new Pokemon game. However, the fact that the pair of teens were out playing GO in the middle of the night does prompt some questions about their decision-making skills.
Pokemon GO has been out for a week, and has already amassed millions of players. Still, to anyone that’s not been caught up in the phenomenon, a pair of unknown teenagers skulking around a neighborhood at 1:30 AM would seem like rather suspicious activity.
That’s not to say the shooter was entitled to open fire, but GO trainers do need to consider their safety while playing the game. Looking back, Ash Ketchum had it easy; Team Rocket was a pushover compared to gun-toting homeowners.
Pokemon GO is available now for Android and iOS in select regions.