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A south Florida GameStop employee who shot an unarmed college student over $500 worth of stolen Pokémon cards wants forgiveness from the deceased victim’s family.
Derrick Guerrero, 33, faces a manslaughter charge for the Oct. 17 shooting of 21-year-old Chadrick Coates at a GameStop in Pembroke Pines, Florida, about 30 minutes southwest of Fort Lauderdale.
According to Pembroke Pines PD, Guerrero was working as the assistant manager at GameStop when he claims to have noticed a shoplifting in progress. Guerrero approached Coates, who allegedly ran toward the door with five boxes of Pokémon cards.
“At no time did the victim threaten Guerrero or display any type of weapon,” Pembroke Pines Police said in a press release.
Nevertheless, ex-Marine Guerrero pulled out a gun and shot Coates. He died at the hospital. Meanwhile, Guerrero posted a $25,000 bond on Thursday, Oct. 19, during a court appearance.
Speaking with reporters after the hearing, Guerrero apologized for the GameStop shooting.
“I’m really sorry for the family,” Guerrero said, according to NBC Miami. “I didn’t mean for any of this to happen to the family. It wasn’t my intention. I’m extremely sorry for the family.”
GameStop shooting victim an HBCU student
It’s unclear what exactly led up to the altercation or whether Coates was truly intending to steal Pokémon cards as Guerrero became his judge, jury and executioner.
Coates’ family refused to speak with CBS News and other outlets that approached them seeking a response. According to Atlanta Black Star, Coates attended Florida Memorial University, south Florida’s only historically Black university.
According to his defense attorney, Guerrero spent 10 years in the Marine Corps before being honorably discharged. A police spokesperson said Guerrero purchased a gun for protection after being robbed several months ago.
Meanwhile, GameStop lists the Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Ultra-Premium Collection trading cards as worth $120 each. With five boxes in his hand, Guerrero ultimately shot Coates over $500 worth of merchandise.
“The victim was shot and subsequently ran into a vehicle that was awaiting which was being driven by his girlfriend and they left the scene. The girlfriend stopped within the plaza and called 911 due to the fact that the victim was unresponsive in the front seat,” Pembroke Pines Police Maj. Al Xiques said.
While Florida’s Stand Your Ground law protects the right to self-defense, it doesn’t extend solely to defending property. It’s unclear whether Guerrero plans to plead guilty or not in the GameStop shooting.
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