A man who allegedly stole Pokémon cards and a pizza from a Target in Kissimmee, Florida has died after police opened fire on the suspects leaving the store.
As reported by the Orlando Sentinel (via Vice), police were responding to a report of a vehicle with covered or unmarked license plates. More than a dozen units watched two individuals wearing "masks and hoodies" exit the car and walk into the store. According to the affidavit by Deputy Cole Miller, the officer spoke to the store's Loss Prevention Supervisor on the phone, who confirmed that the individuals were leaving the store in possession of unpaid goods, and that Target would proceed with prosecution.
The man shot by police died in hospital, with three others injured during the incident. Two other men aged 18 and 19 were taken to hospital and later charged with petty theft.
Sheriff Marcos Lopez had the following to say regarding the incident:
"I believe my deputies are justified in all their actions. I have the utmost – 200% trust – in everything they do based on their training and their experience. Things escalate. This is the real world."
The demand for Pokémon cards has exploded in recent years — The Pokémon Company sold 3.7 billion of them in 2020 and Target temporarily suspended all in-store sales of the cards last year to help ensure the safety of customers following incidents involving scalpers 'swarming' on stock.
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