No, a teenager didn't die breaking into a house to play Pokemon Go

In a horrible tragedy in Chiquimula in Guatemala, a teenage boy has been shot dead while his cousin was badly wounded. Jerson Lopez de Leon has been reported by a number of sources, including the Daily Mirror (opens in new tab), as being "shot  dead after breaking into a house while playing Pokemon Go (opens in new tab)".  This is in fact not the case. As reported by the Independent (opens in new tab) the pair were walking alongside a railway line while playing and according to site Prensa Libre (opens in new tab) the crime was perpetrated by men riding on a farm truck who fled after committing the attack.  This is the quote as it currently appears on The Daily Mirror's site (opens in new tab)

Jerson's mother says he left the house after he was meant to be in bed and his cousin had asked him to go out to play the game. The attack was apparently unprovoked and while utterly tragic, the game's involvement has little to do with  the events that unfolded here. 

In the seas of headlines around Pokemon Go, it's important to differentiate between the app being the direct cause of a tragedy such as this one or merely involved. Headlines and falsities such as "Pokemon Go causes its first death" are dangerous and those who don't understand the app - players know that there is no need to trespass on property to play - will immediate demonise its use. This is a senseless act of crime but Pokemon Go seems to have had very little to do with its motives. 

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Louise Blain

Louise Blain is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in gaming, technology, and entertainment. She is the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s monthly Sound of Gaming show and has a weekly consumer tech slot on BBC Radio Scotland. She can also be found on BBC Radio 4, BBC Five Live, Netflix UK's YouTube Channel, and on The Evolution of Horror podcast. As well as her work on GamesRadar, Louise writes for NME, T3, and TechRadar. When she’s not working, you can probably find her watching horror movies or playing an Assassin’s Creed game and getting distracted by Photo Mode.