Calvin Riley was shot on Saturday night by an unknown assailant at Aquatic Park near Ghirardelli Square, the US Park police said.
A family friend, John Kirby, told local station KGO-TV that Riley and a friend were playing Pokémon Go when Riley was shot.
“From what we know there was no confrontation. There was nothing said back and forth. It was just senseless, just came up and shot in the back and ran away for nothing,” he said.
Kirby said Riley and his friend had noticed someone watching them from the top of a hill that overlooks the park, but it was dark and they were mostly looking at their cellphones.
The National Park Service spokesman Lynn Cullivan said investigators believe there are witnesses to the attack because it happened in the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf area.
Sergeant Robert Jansing, a detective with the US Park police, said the gunman did not take any of Riley’s belongings or try to rob him.
It’s unclear whether the attack had anything to do with Pokémon Go, which has become a national sensation this summer as legions of fans visit real-world landmarks in order to find and trap cartoon creatures.
But the game’s popularity has created unintended consequences in everyday life. Property owners complain of players trespassing or damaging their grounds and scores of players have been injured or robbed as they stare at their phones in search of digital monsters.
Law enforcement officials have warned about the game’s possible dangers, saying players can become engrossed in the game and tune out to their surroundings.
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