A man was shot and killed by police for shoplifting Pokémon Trading Card Game cards from a Target store this last week in Kissimmee, Florida.
Content Warning: The following article contains discussions of gun violence.
A man was killed by police for shoplifting Pokemon Trading Card Game cards this last week in Kissimmee, Florida. The popular card game has been making a resurgence in the last few years and many people have been looking for rare Pokemon cards at various stores across the world.
Pokemon cards have been a staple for lots of collectors since the first wave released in the 1990s, but interest in both the competitive card game and card collecting has recently skyrocketed. This is in part due to the global pandemic, which saw more people looking to undertake new hobbies and collections. There’s also been a surge of interest across social platforms thanks to viral YouTube unboxing videos, collection showcases, and celebrities like Logan Paul showing a deep love of card collecting. Pokemon cards have been hard to find on store shelves as a result, with many people trying to get the best and most rare cards by buying multiple packs, which can cause frustrations for others. As packs both new and old have become harder to come by, there have been many reports of Pokemon card scalpers buying cards and packs to sell on for profit.
On Wednesday, April 27, units from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department in Kissimmee, Florida responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle and two men entering a Target store with masks, according to Vice. Two young men were reportedly being detained in the parking lot after the incident according to a witness video (provided by Fox 35 Orlando) and then shots were exchanged. The investigation is still ongoing, so details on what exactly happened between the alleged detaining and the shooting are scarce. According to Fox 35 Orlandothe men stole pizza and a few packs of Pokemon cards from the store and were back in the suspicious vehicle when the police arrived. From there the police attempted to take down the vehicle and the shooting began.
One person died in the incident and three others were injured during the Pokemon-related crime. Two of the men involved, aged 18 and 19 years old, have been charged with petty theft, but additional information has not been released about the victim of the shooting. Both of the deputies involved are uninjured but are currently undergoing an investigation in regard to the shooting as is standard protocol for deputy-involved shootings. As details of the incident are still under investigation, the reason behind the deputies taking fire is still unclear, but the Osceola County Sheriff, Sheriff Lopez, has stated that he believes that the deputies made the correct decision in the situation.
Last year, the rise in demand for Pokemon cards led some retailers, including Target, to limit the number of packs available for purchase. This came around the same time that a viral video revealed just how sought-after Pokemon Trading Card Game cards had become, with shoppers seen fighting in order to get their hands on packs and boxes.
For the majority of Pokemon Trading Card Game collectors and players, the game is nothing more than a passion and hobby, and incidents like this relating to trading card collecting are rare. While the exact role the cards played in the event remains unclear, full details on the incident are expected to be revealed soon.
Next: Pokémon TCG Reveals Best Art Submissions For New Cards Contest
Source: Vice, Fox 35 Orlando 1, 2
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