Man killed while playing ‘Pokemon Go’ in park near San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf


A 20-year-old man was shot and killed while playing ‘Pokemon Go’ near San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular tourist destination along the waterfront, authorities said Sunday.

The shooting of Calvin Riley occurred about 10 p.m. Saturday in Aquatic Park, said Sgt. Robert Jansing, a detective with the U.S. Park Police. Aquatic Park is adjacent to Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park.

Riley was walking on the promenade along the water and playing the popular cellphone game when he was gunned down. The assailant did not take any of Riley’s property or attempt to rob him, Jansing said.


Investigators were puzzled by what led to the slaying.

“There doesn’t appear to be any outstanding motive right now,” Jansing said.

Although the shooting occurred late at night, several people were still at the park, which annually sees about 4 million visitors, said Lynn Cullivan, a spokesman for the park.

Still, Jansing said no witnesses are believed to have seen the gunman. Investigators are collecting footage from surveillance cameras in the area, which may reveal the shooter’s identity.

Officials ask that anyone who was in the park around the time of the killing to come forward and share what they saw with investigators. Witnesses can call the U.S. Park Police tip line at (415) 561-5150.

Riley hailed from San Mateo, Calif., where he graduated from Junipero Serra High School in 2015. At San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Riley was studying kinesiology and playing on the college’s baseball team, according to the school website.

On a fundraising website set up for Riley’s funeral expenses, his cousin Gabriel Morales wrote that the family learned early Sunday morning that Riley had died.

“You had all the mechanics, talent and dedication to make your dreams a reality,” Morales wrote to his slain cousin. “I wish I got to talk to you one more time. I would’ve told you how much I loved you and missed you. How bad I look forward to seeing you again.”


It’s unclear if the shooting was related to “Pokemon Go,” which has surged in popularity since it was released this summer.

The app uses a player’s smartphone camera and GPS technology to guide him to real locations to “collect” Pokemon, or “pocket monsters,” in real locations. Players point the camera and virtual characters appear against the real-world backdrop. Then players toss a virtual ball to capture that character.

The game has drawn crowds to parks, boardwalks and promenades in search of rare Pokemon. Players have found themselves targets of assailants or witnesses to crimes.

Last month, two men focusing on the smartphone game were robbed and carjacked in Northern California. In Fullerton, two former Marines helped nab a man wanted for attempted murder in Sonoma County. And in San Francisco, a brother and sister were robbed of their smartphones while playing “Pokemon Go.”

For more news in California, follow @MattHjourno.



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