One 60-year-old man’s fondness of a smartphone game that allowed him to bond with his nieces, nephews and grandchildren has left him dead and his family wondering what happened.
Jiansheng Chen, a resident of Chesapeake, Virginia, where his daughter owns a Chinese restaurant, left his brother’s house at 10:30 p.m. Thursday after dropping off his sister-in-law, NBC News reported. His brother said he planned to play Pokemon Go, a popular virtual reality smartphone game, before going home.
Around 30 minutes later, an unnamed security guard fired five bullets through the windshield of Chen’s van, which was parked half a mile from his house, the family’s lawyer told WTKR. He died instantly.
What exactly happened in between those two moments is still under police investigation. Family members told WTKR that Chen, a Chinese government worker, spoke extremely limited English, and The Virginian-Pilot reported that while he was parked outside the River Walk Community clubhouse, the guard confronted him and they argued. However, it is unclear why the security guard fired into the car, or why he was even armed at all.
The River Walk Community Association, which owns the clubhouse outside which Chen was parked, told the Virginian-Pilot that starting in 2010 it hired a security firm to provide unarmed guards that patrol the “community’s common areas,” which did not include the parking lot where Chen was inside his vehicle.
The security firm, meanwhile, did not respond to multiple media requests for comment. The guard has not been named because he has not been charged with a crime, but media reports indicate that he stayed at the scene and called police.
Chen’s family does not speak much English, their lawyer, Greg Sandler, but are “devastated” by the incident and are trying to understand something “so egregious that no one can understand how this happened,” per NBC News. The family is also considering a wrongful death lawsuit.
While Pokemon Go requires users to walk around in order to complete certain aspects of the game, WTKR reports that there is a Pokemon Go gym at that location, meaning Chen would have been able to stay in one place and play the game.
The Chesapeake police department said an investigation into the incident is ongoing. No charges have been filed.