Pokemon GO has seen its fair share of negative press lately, including a series of robberies that seem to be specifically targeting players of the app. For criminals, it is the perfect opportunity because they already know where to find players, who are oftentimes distracted and carry at least one valuable item: their smartphone. However, for one would-be robber and his accomplice in Las Vegas, the Pokemon GO player they attempted to rob was packing more than just Pokeballs. According to Las Vegas police spokeswoman Laura Meltzer, a group of Pokemon Go players were in a park downtown on Monday attempting to capture some of the titular pocket monsters when a SUV pulled up. The passenger of the vehicle revealed his firearm and demanded the group turn over their possessions. It was at this point that one of the Pokemon GO players also drew his gun and the two engaged in a brief firefight.
By the time the dust settled, both the armed robber and one of the Pokemon GO players had been wounded with non-life-threatening injuries. The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the alleged robber was 18-year-old Elvis Campos, while his accomplice, who was driving the vehicle, was not named. Campos was taken to a local hospital to be treated for his wounds, and later charged with robbery with a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. According to the Associated Press, Campos was charged with attempted murder as well.
The wounded man from the group of Pokemon GO players was also checked into the same hospital. Police say that the individual who had a concealed carry permit was not injured, and that the permit was valid. Officials are currently investigating to see who fired first in the confrontation. The circumstances of the firefight are still yet to be revealed, and police have not confirmed if Pokemon Go players were specifically targeted in this instance.
Online commentators have remarked that the location where the shooting took place, Gary Reese Freedom Park, was a hotspot for catching a particular Pokemon called Magikarp. The main draw of the Pokemon GO app is to capture rare and unique creatures, and then “evolve” them into more powerful versions. Magikarp, a creature that resembles a large carp, is notorious for being one of the weakest Pokemon available, but evolves into the powerful dragon Gyarados.
If only wildlife officials could get anglers as interested in catching Asian carp.
You can learn more about Pokemon GO in the developer Niantic’s launch video: