Canadian teen shot dead after tracking lost cellphone

Smartphones on display at a shop in New York.
Smartphones on display at a shop in New York. AFP

OTTAWA (AFP) - Canadian police said Tuesday they are hunting for three men in the fatal shooting of a teenager who used an app to trace his lost phone to the trio.

Jeremy Cook, 18, had left his smartphone in a taxi and traced it electronically Sunday morning to a fast-food restaurant in London, Ontario, where he confronted three men in a car outside, local police Constable Ken Steeves told AFP.

"He approached the vehicle and it's safe to say a conversation occurred, but the phone wasn't turned over to him," Steeves said.

When the three men attempted to leave, Cook grabbed onto the vehicle as it drove away, he said. Local media said Cook was accompanied by his sister.

Police responding to an emergency call found Cook's body riddled with bullets at the rear of a nearby strip mall, while the car was found abandoned after being driven into a fence.

Cook's discarded smartphone was discovered by a bystander close to the abandoned vehicle, Steeves said.

A manhunt is now under way for three men described by police as 18 to 21 years of age.

Police said the victim had no connection to his attackers.

"It's not the app that resulted in his death," Steeves commented.

"Having and using an app to find your phone is not a bad thing at all, it's great."

But he urged citizens to call police for help if they encounter "any resistance, violence or potential for violence" when seeking to recover lost or stolen property.