A 60-year-old Chinese grandfather was tragically and inexplicably shot and killed by a neighborhood security guard in southeast Virginia last week while sitting in his minivan and playing Pokémon Go.
Playing the mobile game inside his van parked in front of a clubhouse late at night, Jiansheng Chen was confronted by two security guards in Chesapeake’s River Walk community. An argument ensued which ended with one of the guards unloading his gun into Chen’s front windshield. Chen was declared dead at the scene.
Greg Sandler, a local attorny representing Chen’s family, speculated that the argument might have escalated because of Chen’s limited English language skills, but was still at a loss to explain the security guard’s actions.
“I cannot imagine what could have justified shooting through the front windshield of Mr. Chen’s van five times,” Sandler told WTKR.
Sandler said that Chen played Pokémon Go in order to bond with his grandchildren, nieces and nephews. With his family celebrating on the eve of Chinese New Year that night, Chen stepped out to catch some Pokémon around the neighborhood at 10:30 p.m. He drove to a club house about half a mile away where there is a Pokémon Go gym located nearby.
In a statement, the River Walk Community Association confirmed that they had hired a private security company for patrolling the community, but added that the contract stipulated that the guards be unarmed. Additionally, Chen was shot in an area outside of where the security guards were supposed to operate.
The private security company has been named as Citywide Protection Services, but the identity of the guard has not been released and no charges have yet been filed. The case is currently under investigation by police.
You can watch a local news report about the shooting below:
Chen’s family described him as a “wise and caring” man who had stopped going to school after sixth grade to work and support his family. He was the first member of his family to immigrate to the United States from China and worked in the Chinese restaurant business to save up money so that he could pay for the rest of his family to follow him to America.
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