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Just when you thought the news surrounding Pokemon GO couldn’t get any more weird; this week a man located in Palm Coast Florida is expected to face criminal charges after shooting at unsuspecting Pokemon GO players.  

As reported on News Journal, the shooting took place at around 1:30am, where the man awoke to a “loud noise” outside his home. After grabbing his handgun, the man went out to investigate the situation where he met the two teenagers, ages 16 and 19. After telling the teens not to move, the pair sped off to their car where the man then proceeded to shoot at the vehicle several times, and then went on to call the Sheriff’s department. Luckily nobody was harmed, though their car did receive several bullet holes and a flat tire.

At 10:30am, the 19-year-old’s mother contacted the police department where she explained the situation. Flagler County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jim Troiano said the case is still under investigation.

With this news and the recent reports of armed robberies, the Sheriffs Office issued the following safety tips for Pokemon GO players;

  • Call 9-1-1 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 players should 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 devices while interacting with the Pokémon Go app. You cannot do both safely at the same time.
  • Do not trespass onto private property or into any area you usually would not if you weren’t playing Pokémon 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.
  • 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.”

Pokemon GO is currently available on iOS and Android devices.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think this news just serves as another reminder for players to be more cautious? Let us know in the comments below!

Jason English

Staff Writer

Super famous games journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. When not writing for TechRaptor, Jason is also covering material for Digital Fox. Jason has also heard every possible joke you can make in regards to his last name.

  • Pesty

    Florida Man truly is the world’s worst superhero.

  • Chris Anderson

    Florida Man strikes again.

  • I can’t entirely blame that man, tbh. With the current climate, catching two strangers faffing around near your home IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT and then seeing them run away when told not to move is a recipe for someone to get shot…

  • seansong1

    common sense isn’t so common anymore

  • Derf Montgomery

    Yeah, I bet they looked real dangerous while peeing their pants and running like scared rabbits. Shooting at them after they’ve left your property and are driving down the street isn’t defending your home, it’s attempted murder.

  • Dave

    Gonna side with florida man on this one. If i saw two random kids futzing around my house at 2am, with the way that the current political climate is, I’d probably do the same.

  • Oh Florida Man, your antics never cease to amaze and amuse.

  • Johnathon Tieman

    Except that isn’t what happened. All we know is that two “teens” (nineteen is actually an adult everywhere in the US) were poking around outside someone’s house, the owner caught the two trespassing, and after ordering them to stay while he called the police, they ran for a car. The owner didn’t know what might be in the car (more people or some sort of weapon), not to mention the damage the two could cause with the car itself. For all we know, the shots could have occurred all while the vehicle and trespassers were still on his property. I would point out the homeowner called the police after the two ran. Castle doctrine is law in Florida – I think this is a case where the homeowner is likely to be found acting within the law.

  • Derf Montgomery

    If this writer had actually got the story right I’d agree. Every other news site says they were sitting in their car pulled over when the guy came out of his house and opened fire. “Castle doctrine” doesn’t extend to people that pull over on your street or else every week we’d see news stories about dead tourists gunned down for pulling over and looking at a map on their way to the beach.

  • GrimFate

    Keeping the Pokemon games and anime kid-friendly has failed to prepare these potential trainers to the realities of being a real Pokemon trainer. Hopefully an R-rated movie from Nintendo will remedy this.

  • Mitchell

    I don’t think I’ll ever be able to grasp the idea of shooting at someone with so little information. I mean (as far as we know, and the official investigation may determine otherwise of course) all this guy knew was that it was the middle of the night, there was a noise, then (depending on the source for this story you read) found these two either pulled over in their car or, at worst, trespassing on foot at which point they fled in their car. Yeah, I can totally see how that would be a suspicious situation certainly warranting some anxiety and fear, but that’s enough information for this guy to feel comfortable opening fire with a lethal weapon?

    I’m aware of his right to defend his home, and I still think this was reckless and irresponsible. They were fleeing. I’d love to hear him justify his right and his need to defend himself from their RETREAT. I’d also like to hear what his plan was in the event he actually hit/killed one of them. His weapon is for defense. Even if they had been up to something nefarious, I submit that his right to use a firearm ended as soon as they began their retreat (technically I suppose it ended when they left his property, right?); at that point he should have noted their appearances, the car, the car’s plate, and called the police–nothing more.

  • Darklurkr23

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but 100% agree with Florida man. If i saw 2 teen-somethings fuckin around on my property at 1:30 am I’d sure shoot them in the ass. The hell are they doing out playing pokemon at 1:30 am go the hell home

  • MT Silver

    If someone runs away, you let them get away. You do *not* shoot people trying to get away from you. That’s not self-defense, it’s murder.
    I find it appalling how many people here wanted those kids to get shot and killed.

  • If someone runs away to their car, and you let them, and they grab a gun and shoot you instead, you will not only look stupid but be very dead as well. That’s a concrete possibility, and one that will make any sane person decide he’d rather be the one shooting than the one getting shot. And it was 1:30AM. Not a time when NORMAL kids loiter around, that’s usually when druggies are wandering looking for easy money for their next fix.

    They were idiots for groping around that late at night, AND idiots for running away like that after being explicitly told to not move while the guy called the cops. They’re lucky they didn’t ACTUALLY get shot after that tremendous bout of stupidity. And I’m tired of seeing people defend stupid behavior. It’s what’s sending this world to hell in a handbasket.

    And I should also add the kids’ parents are utter failures at parenting for not teaching them such gems of wisdom as ‘don’t loiter suspiciously near people’s houses late at night’. Which really SHOULD be common sense, but apparently it’s become a fucking superpower sometime in the 80’s.

  • Johnathon Tieman

    Can you cite me any of these stories you are referring to? What is the basis for their claims? Frankly, given the vast majority of mainstream news media’s hate for firearms and anyone who owns them, I’d like to see direct quotes from police. It just doesn’t add up that a homeowner is going to order two people, sitting in a private vehicle, to stay there while he phones the police, the kids panic and drive away, he fires at them as they drive away, and then he phones the police to tell them he shot at people? I can see it being that the two were poking around, did something stupid, ran, and after the fact lied about what happened, but to be fair that’s just speculation as well. I’d like to see both police reports (or officers quoting from the reports) before I’ll just believe the article’s author is incompetent at his job.

  • Derf Montgomery

    USA Today and Time both say they were sitting in the car.

    USA Today: “A 19-year-old man and his 16-year-old friend were sitting in a car on Primrose Lane playing Pokémon Go around 1:30 a.m., when a man walked out of his house nearby and fired shots at the car, according to a news release from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.”

    Time: “A 19-year-old Palm Coast man and his 16-year-old friend told police that they were confronted by a man who came out of his home and opened fire on them as they were sitting in a vehicle about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.”

  • Johnathon Tieman

    Thanks for the articles. Yeah, that does look like the results of bad reporting. “Castle doctrine” doesn’t apply, although if the two did drive the car at the man, “self-defense” does apply.