The Pokemon GO craze, while something that is designed to get people outdoors and connect with others, is starting to look like the opposite. The latest incident related to the game occurred this week in a Las Vegas park after a gunman and his driver tried to rob a group of Pokemon GO players only for one of them to pull his own gun and commence a shootout. As revealed by Laura Meltzer of the Las Vegas police department, one Pokemon GO player and one of the robbers ended up being hospitalized with injuries that luckily aren't life-threatening while the gunman's underage driver who was operating the would-be getaway SUV ended up unharmed and arrested. Both are awaiting charges.
As further revealed by the LVPD spokeswoman, the malevolent duo approached a group of half a dozen Pokemon GO players catching pocket monsters in the Las Vegas park yesterday around 04:00 AM. The armed man demanded possessions from the players while holding them at gunpoint but wasn't counting on any one of them being armed. The Pokemon trainer with a concealed weapon permit then proceeded to pull his own semi-automatic firearm and exchanged fire with the robber. Meltzer didn't reveal whether the hospitalized Pokemon GO player who ended up being shot in the stomach is also the one who was armed and has only confirmed that the group knew each other.
Some Facebook users have suggested that the shooting occurred in the Gary Reese Freedom Park known as a perfect hunting ground for catching water Pokémon. Police are yet to confirm whether the robbers were specifically targeting Pokemon GO players or not. However, this wouldn't be the first time that criminals came up with the idea of trying to make a quick buck on the Pokemon GO craze. Earlier this month, four teenagers in Saint Louis were robbing Pokemon trainers after luring them to a specific isolated location with one of the literal in-game Lures.
Not all of the side-effects of Pokemon GO are negative; quite the opposite actually. For example, a certain animal shelter in Indiana recently took advantage of this new phenomenon by getting aspiring Pokemon trainers to walk sheltered dogs while catching pocket monsters and there are countless reports of people making friends with people they might not ever have encountered without the game.