Calvin Riley, of San Mateo, was searching for the game monsters with a large group of friends at Aquatic Park in Fisherman’s Wharf just before 10:00 PM local time when he was shot.
A friend who was present told ABC 7 that Riley and another friend had noticed someone watching them from a hill overlooking the park, but they didn’t pay much attention, as it was dark and they were playing the game on their phones.
— Elissa Harrington (@EHarringtonNews) August 7, 2016
"From what we know there was no confrontation. There was nothing said back and forth. It was just senseless, just came up and shot in the back and ran away for nothing," family friend John Kirby told the station. “There was a large group of people playing Pokémon and then his buddy started playing, as well. Calvin got a little bit ahead of his friend and kind of went around a corner.”
"Then when the friend came around a corner he heard a gunshot, saw his friend fall, and whoever did it ran away and possibly got into a car," he said.
Riley was pronounced dead at the scene, and police have stated that he was not robbed. No suspect has been identified.
Pokémon GO’s sudden popularity has prompted officials in cities across the US to take urgent safety measures. The state of New York recently moved to ban sex offenders from using the game. Senator Jeff Klein has also introduced similar legislation, calling it a “virtual road map to our children.”
"We know that pedophiles always seek new ways to lure victims and this new technology that entertains our kids, could also bring them close to dangerous individuals instead of Pokémon,” Klein said in a statement.
Pokémon GO mixes a virtual world with reality as players search real world locations for the cartoon monsters. A feature of the game raising concern is that users can place a “lure” on a PokéStop to entice other players to the area with the promise of Pokémon present.
The feature has already been used to lure players to remote areas where they were robbed at gunpoint in both Missouri and London.
— ElissaABC7 (@ElissaABC7) August 7, 2016
A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover the college baseball player’s funeral.