"I cannot imagine what could have justified shooting through the front windshield of Mr. Chen's van five times," Greg Sandler, a lawyer representing Chen's family, told News 3. Sandler didn't respond to a request for comment on Tuesday from The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, U.S. Reps. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) and Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Chen’s death, saying in a joint statement they are “concerned about the manner and circumstances in which he lost his life.”
“Many questions remain and need to be answered, and we call on local authorities to conduct their investigation thoroughly and expeditiously,” the statement said. “We must know how a game of Pokémon Go turned into a fatal shooting.”
In a statement, Andrew M. Sacks, who represents Citywide Protection Services — the company whose security guard shot Chen — said Chen was barred two times in the past 18 months for allegedly trespassing, and that Chen tried to run the guard down with the van he was driving.
“Faced with a situation in which he could not safely escape the oncoming van headed straight for him, the security guard, out of total necessity, and in reasonable fear for his life and safety, fired in an effort to stop and repel the threat to his life and safety,” the statement said.
In an interview, Sacks objected to the legislators’ statement on the killing, saying that there was no way to know whether Chen was playing Pokémon Go and that he “made an aggressive, malicious, intentional maneuver with vehicle.”
“With all due respect to the congressmen, they don’t know what he was doing,” Sacks said. He added that the assumption that Chen wasn’t “the author of his own misfortune” might be due to anti-police “bias.”
The Chesapeake Police Department and the residential community that contracted with Citywide Protection Services were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.
No charges have been filed against the security guard.
Since its release last year, Pokémon Go, in which players capture virtual characters for points, has caused problems that include traffic jams and trespassing arrests.