A security guard who fatally shot a Virginia man who reportedly was playing Pokémon Go was charged with murder Thursday, prosecutors said.
On Jan. 26 at about 11 p.m., Jiansheng Chen, 60, was shot by a neighborhood security guard in Chesapeake, Va. An attorney who represents Chen’s family told local media that Chen, who did not speak English well, was playing Pokémon Go when he was killed.
Though that account was not confirmed by authorities, three members of Congress called for an investigation into Chen’s death.
An attorney representing the neighborhood’s security firm said the guard was defending himself when Chen tried to run him down with a van. The attorney also said Chen had been barred from the property for trespassing on two previous occasions in the past 18 months.
On Thursday, prosecutors said the guard, Johnathan Cromwell, was charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of murder.
“Mr. Cromwell confronted Mr. Chen by stopping his vehicle directly in front of Mr. Chen’s,” a statement from the Chesapeake commonwealth’s attorney said. “Mr. Chen backed up and turned his vehicle around … Mr. Cromwell had exited his car and did say ‘stop’ before he fired his weapon.”
The statement noted that Chen was shot five times, once in his upper left arm and four times in his upper left chest, and that no video of the incident was available.
Cromwell’s attorney declined to comment.
Andrew M. Sacks, who represents Citywide Protection Services, the company whose security guard shot Chen, said the company thinks Cromwell was not at fault.
“Our conclusion was that the guard acted justifiably in self-defense, and the company stands behind that position at this time,” he said.