Charge: Watchman Murdered Grandpa Playing Pokemon Go
Security guard says it was self-defense; prosecutors disagree
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2017 2:48 PM CDT
Johnathan Cromwell   (Chesapeake Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – A 22-year-old security guard has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a Virginia grandfather whose family says he was playing Pokemon Go in an effort to connect with his grandchildren. WTKR reports Johnathan Cromwell was working as a security guard for a Chesapeake neighborhood last January when 60-year-old Jiansheng Chen, who didn't speak English, pulled up in his van. Chen's family says he was in the area to capture Pokemon. Prosecutors say Cromwell shot at Chen more than six times, striking him four times in the chest, according to WAVY. Cromwell claims he was acting in self-defense. NBC News reports an attorney for Citywide Protection Services says Chen drove his van at Cromwell.

But prosecutors say Cromwell fired at Chen as he was driving away, with his first shots entering the driver's side window. They say he moved around to the front of the van and fired more shots. When police arrived at the scene, Cromwell allegedly asked a detective about the accuracy of his shooting. Cromwell was charged with second-degree murder in February. That charge was upgraded to first-degree murder Wednesday. He's also charged with the use of a firearm in commission of a felony. Cromwell's father accuses prosecutors of "trying to make an example" of his son for "political" reasons. He says "there's no ground for" the new charge.

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