Grandfather, 60, shot dead in US while playing Pokemon Go

A person plays Pokemon Go in Hong Kong in a file photo.
A person plays Pokemon Go in Hong Kong in a file photo.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

WASHINGTON - A grandfather aged 60 who left his house to play Pokemon Go never returned after being shot to death, allegedly by a security guard.

Jiansheng Chen dropped his sister-in-law off at home, then told his brother he planned to go out to play Pokemon Go - a GPS-based virtual reality game.

He left in his van at around 10.30pm last Thursday night (Jan 26) but never made it back home, a lawyer for the family, Greg Sandler, told NBC News.

The incident happened in Chesapeake, Virginia.

A retiree who spent his adult life in the Chinese restaurant business, Chen enjoyed the game as a way to engage with his nieces, nephews, and grandchildren, Sandler said, according to a report filed to the NBC website on Wednesday (Feb 1).

Chen's brother grew concerned after calling him a number of times and not hearing back, according to Sandler. When he went out to find his brother, he soon came upon the police scene with Chen's minivan shot multiple times, the lawyer said.

Chen had been in his car, parked outside a clubhouse, playing the game on his phone, according to Sandler.

"The information that we have seen at the van and learned from a couple of people who either saw or heard various parts of this indicated that the security person was standing in front of the van and fired somewhere between five and 10 shots directly through the driver's front windshield of the van," Sandler said, according to NBC. "Mr Chen was killed instantly."

Sandler added that Chen's command of English was "very, very limited."

Chesapeake Police Department spokeswoman Officer Kelly Elliott told NBC News on Wednesday that no one had been charged yet in connection with the shooting. Elliott said Chen was not armed with a weapon and that, according to family members, his English was limited.

Asked about reports of an altercation between the two, Elliott said, "I can't give out specifics, but the security guard had went to talk with him. There was not a physical altercation. There was a disagreement."

She added that the investigation remained ongoing. "They are just looking at all the layout, the forensics, the statements and what have you," Elliott said.

The security guard, who reportedly works for Citywide Protection Services according to NBC affiliate WAVY, was not identified by police. A woman who answered the phone at the company referred comment to an attorney and spokesman. He did not immediately return a voicemail left on Tuesday (Jan 31) night, said NBC.

The River Walk Community Association released a statement to WAVY on Monday. "The River Walk Community Association does have a contract for unarmed roving patrol services for the common areas of the community," it reportedly read. "We are fully cooperating with authorities investigating the incident that took place just outside association property."

Sandler said he was not ruling out a wrongful death lawsuit, depending on what evidence is available.

"It is obviously my client's hope that an arrest will be made and decided upon and that this person will be brought to justice because the circumstances are just so egregious that no one can understand how this happened," he said.