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“We Don’t Need Vigilantes”: P-Section Man Shoots at Teen Pokémon Go Hunters

| July 17, 2016

pokemon shooting palm coast

The bullets’ points of impact as indicated by arrows added to the image by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. (FCSO)

Last Updated: 12:23 p.m.

A 16-year-old P-Section resident in Palm Coast and his 19-year-old friend were doing what hundreds of thousands of people have been doing recently across the world: they were out and about, playing Pokémon Go. The free interactive game allows players to use their phone to hunt, capture and “train” Pokémon creatures that virtually appear in their physical surroundings through their phone. It’s inoffensive, if occasionally hazardous when players get too absorbed in the game and forget to pay attention to traffic around them.

But no one has been shot over it anywhere. Until Saturday morning, in Palm Coast.

It happened in front of 41 Primrose Lane. That’s where the two friends were hunting Pokémon at around 1:30 in the morning.

Within moments, Michael Pagliro, 38, of 41 Primrose, had armed himself with a small-caliber semi-automatic, gone out of his house, stood in front of the teens’ car, and according to a sheriff’s office account of the incident, “ordered the vehicle not to move.” The vehicle and its occupants were in their legal right of way.

Pagliro told police that the vehicle allegedly accelerated toward him, “causing him to flee the roadway,” according to the release. “Because he believed the vehicle was attempting to strike him, he discharged his handgun several times at the vehicle. The vehicle sped away and was not located after a search of the area was conducted.”

It was located eight to nine hours later, when the parents of the 19-year-old–whose name is not being released because his father is a law enforcement officer (Florida law allows agencies to withhold identification of cops’ family members) called the sheriff’s office and reported the shooting. They said the two players were “confronted by a man who came out from his home and shot at them several times.”

The mother of the 19 year old said the teens did not tell her of the incident until morning, when they saw the flat tire on their car, and the bullet hole in the hubcap and fender. After speaking to the teens, deputies learned that while they were sitting in the car on Primrose Lane, they heard someone say “did you catch him” and one of the teens stated “yeah, did you?” It was at this time that they heard gunshots and they sped away and drove immediately home, according to the release.

When they arrived at the home, they checked themselves to see if they were injured and inspected the car but didn’t find any noticeable damage. Since they were not injured and there was no damage to the vehicle, they thought it was someone trying to scare them, so they didn’t call police or tell their parents just then.

Pagliro was not arrested. But an arrest is possible. The sheriff’s office has been getting inquiries as to why he had not been arrested, Jim Troiano, the department’s chief spokesman, said this morning. “We’re already getting that reaction, we’re moving quickly, and have,” Troiano said. “Arrests are certainly possible, absolutely. We have to evaluate the entire incident and determine whether a violation of law occurred.”

“I can’t give you a time frame but I can say everyone is cooperating with the investigation,” Troiano said.

Troiano said “there’s a lot of wrong that occurred in here and I hope that from these wrongs we can show people what the right thing to do is.” He said the homeowner should not have sought out a confrontation after hearing suspicious noise but called law enforcement.

“We don’t need vigilantes. Don’t want vigilantes,” Troiano said. “There’s no need for them. We have a well regulated, professional law enforcement agency. Call us. 911, where’s your emergency?”

He added: “Gun owners have a responsibility to be responsible gun owners. They have to understand that once that gun is discharged, they have to understand that they’re responsible for that bullet.”

He cited recent incidents that have giving Palm Coast a black eye, such as the home invasion earlier this week of two men with guns, which resulted in the death of one of the two men as he was shot by a tenant. The men were allegedly seeking marijuana.

The Pokemon shooting is quickly gaining national attention, as it appears to be the first of its kind.

The sheriff’s release included tips for homeowners who think they’re seeing suspicious activity, including: “Avoid leaving the protection of your home to confront suspects. This should be handled by trained law enforcement officers.” The caution echoes standard recommendations provided those who attend the training session required in Florida before individuals may have their concealed weapon permit.

In one such session on June 11 led by Kirk Chong at Larry’s Guns and Ammo in Bunnell, Chong said: “Anybody who uses a firearm has to pass what’s called a reasonable person’s test. What a reasonable person’s test is, is what a judge and a jury will get possibly three to six months to determine what you did in half a second or less than half a second.” He then spoke of the importance of avoiding confrontation rather than seeking it out with a gun in most circumstances.

“The whole situation is to not get involved if you don’t have to,” Chong said. “The whole idea is not to go around being Rambo or Superman., Just because you have a gun and you have the right to use it doesn’t mean you should use it. Even though I have the right to shoot this person, guess what, if I can escape, I’m probably going to pick escape, because I don’t want to get into a civil lawsuit. The only time I’ll probably use my gun is if there’s no escape. Even though I have that right to use the gun, sometimes it may not be the best option. Because now I’m down the road, I’m getting hit with a civil suit and I’ve got to pay a lawyer $50,000, I’ll be financially ruined. So a lot of people don’t think about that part.”


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41 Responses for ““We Don’t Need Vigilantes”: P-Section Man Shoots at Teen Pokémon Go Hunters”

  1. anonymous says:

    I must behind times. I never heard of that as an adult game nowadays. As far as shooting, if i had a vehicle coming at me i probably would have done the same.

  2. Steve Robinson says:

    Unbelievable. Pagliro might want to read up on the Michael Dunn case in Jacksonville. Dunn thought it was a good idea to shoot at an occupied vehicle. He killed a young man and is spending the rest of his life in prison.

  3. footballen says:

    I can’t figure which one was the stupidest. Some a**hole out cruising a residential neighborhood looking for virtual pokemon at 3 am or a home owner defending the street in front of his house. IDIOTS!!!

  4. Bc. says:

    What is wrong with the sheriff department last week shots fired in mondex and no arrests now this no arrests how can one walk out of his home and shoot at 2 teens and not be arrested, when the kids were not threatening anyone.

  5. DP says:

    There should be no arrest. To much back and forth, and wrong on both sides of the story. People shouldn’t be sitting in front of any one’s “HOME, BUSINESS” or such at that time of the morning. There’s no excuse, or reason to be given. And as such, no “PERSON” should take the law into there own hands, except when they feel they are, or other’s are in danger. Now that leave’s open the key to this case. Was the Person in danger??? Yes or NO. If the people in the car weren’t sitting out front @ 0130 in the morning, then the person wouldn’t have a need to go out. If the person had felt he was in danger, or a crime may or may not be committed, they should have called 911 and remained inside his or her locked home. If, and I say “IF” a crime or a breaking and entering into the structure occurred, then I say defend yourself and family to all extent. Now with all the other issues that have happened in the past 4-5 month’s with car burglaries’, stolen vehicles, and most recent home invasion, things should be taken into consideration. Let’s not make this into gun control issue, as it’s “NOT”. It’s about education for both parties. Chalk it up to lesson learned, and be grateful that it didn’t turn out worse.

  6. Born and Raised Here says:

    Only in Palm Coast.

  7. Rich says:

    Nothing good ever happens after midnight.

  8. Kendall says:

    Sheriff Manfre- do the right thing and arrest this man now.

    State Attorney Larizza- do the right thing and charge this man now.

    There was no valid logical or legal reason for this man to even step outside of his home to confront these two individuals sitting in a car on a public roadway.

  9. 2AinPC says:

    While I am a supporter of the 2nd Amendment and I do legally carry a concealed weapon, this is the type of story that makes honest firearm owners look bad. This person should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If you look at the picture above you can see that the holes are in the rear fender and bumper of the car. That would mean that unless the driver was driving at him backwards he was in no danger at the time he was shooting. He broke the law.

  10. Retiredlawenforcement says:

    Once again let’s chalk it up to the ever increasing STUPIDY of today’s youth. 1:30 in the morning 2 guys pull up in a car to a quiet street park in front of a house making noise that awakens the homeowner. In the wake of the recent epidemic of ‘ HOME INVASIONS” ‘ BURGLARIES ” and ‘CAR THEFTS” in Palm Coast maybe it wasn’t such a smart idea to go poking around at again 1:30 in the morning front of a house you have no legitimate or mature business to be at looking for Pokiman.

  11. Veteran says:

    First of all Steve, nothing like the Michael Dunn case. Second, why are two teenagers playing this game at 1:30 AM in front of a residence? Also if a driver tries to run down a cop they shoot, it’s attempted murder so why can’t a citizen shoot?

  12. woodchuck says:

    What is a 16 year old doing out at 1:30 A.M. joy riding around neighborhoods?It is a mixture for getting into trouble.Nothing else to do get a job and chase a mop bucket around instead of a stupld game.

  13. Dave says:

    If he had armed himself, but stayed in his home and waited like he should have this would have never happened. Call 911 if he really throught they were a threat or up to no good. He should be arrested and charged with attempted murder. He became the aggressor when he left his house armed and went out to the road to confront the kids in the car. The kids in the car did nothing wrong and had every right to be there. The roads are open to the public 24 hours day. Doesn’t matter that it was 130am. In this case they were playing Pokemon Go, but it culd easily be anyone just slowing down or stopping to look for a house number or make a call because the are lost. Thankfully no one was hurt or killed in this incident.

  14. daveT says:

    And when we thought we didn’t have to worry about anything else, now we have people shooting at cars. “Pagliro was not arrested. But an arrest is possible. ” the guy went outside of his home with a weapon surely knowing someone was going to drive by, sounds like a bait and shoot routine and he used Pokemon to do it.

  15. Dean Carpenter says:

    So if I, an old man, am driving around Palm Coast at a time a resident feels is inappropriate I can expect to be shot? The teenagers used poor judgement. The shooter used poor judgement and endangered lives.

  16. Yar says:

    Would take 5 mins to program the game to stop after 1am or something , seems it needs to be done.

  17. Carlee says:

    These comments are far too stupid to be real. We can only pray that our lord and savior Donald Trump will Protect us from the scary Pokemon.

  18. Youth says:

    It sickens me how evil some of these palm coast residents seem. So it’s not okay to engage in lawful activities of one’s choosing without fearing gun reprisal? Are you serious? If these kids were murdered, is there an honest person who believes it’s okay to shoot kids for looking for Pokemon? Is that what some people seem to be insinuating?

  19. PCer says:

    Pagliro needs to be charged. He makes responsible gun owners look bad. He discharged a weapon out of paranoia, not out of fear. I am willing to bet he is lying about the kids trying to run him over. Bullet holes are in the back of the car.

    The kids were out looking for Pokemon. They were not drinking, doing drugs, having sex, or stealing anything. They were playing a harmless game. People need to lighten up, not everyone is out to get you.

  20. W.Ryan says:

    Lock him Up!!!

  21. BlueJammer says:

    Not smart at all. Mr. Pagliro should’ve stayed inside his home and instead called the Police. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Hopefully, the kids learned a lesson from this one, too.

  22. dave says:


  23. bill harvey says:

    stay in your home , you are not a law enforcement officer I spent 27 years in the patrol division and I would not have done what that individual did I could not care less even if there was a gun battle in the street. how did bullet holes get in the rear of the vehicle if they were coming at you

  24. William says:

    Absolutely ridiculous that this shooter is being defended here. America is a free country, which allows American citizens to behave as they wish, as long as laws are not broken. From the info provided, these kids were on a public road and were within the law. I think it’s lame that they were driving around playing Pokemon at 1:30 in the morning, but it’s completely legal. What if I want to go for a late night jog, go look at the stars, or even go fishing one night? It’s okay for someone to fire a gun at me if they think I’m suspicious? That way of thinking leads to a very scary reality.

  25. A mom says:

    While I don’t agree with teenagers out at night, I find it idiotic that a person who is not bein threatened by the teens whatsoever goes out and shoots at them. A life could’ve been lost by another fool with a gun. Here is why people should be psycholically examined prior to being sold a gun. I hope his gun is taken away that homeowner is a tragedy waiting to happen . I am glad that the kids are safe

  26. Jen says:

    I’m so glad the here are defending the players. People need to stop suggesting that you deserve to be the victim of a crime because you happen to live around overzealous people that are suspicious of you.

    The physical evidence indicates that these kids did nothing wrong. To commentors who don’t think people should be out past a certain time – lobby your local governments to enact a curfew, but respect the fact that they currently have the right to be outside at 1:30am.

  27. Thomas Payne says:

    (Within moments, he had armed himself with a small-caliber semi-automatic, gone out of his house, stood in front of the teens’ car, and “ordered the vehicle not to move.” )

    Thats not self defense. Thats like arming yourself and jumping in front of cars on the freeway, and shooting at them for accelerating towards them.

    Call 911 to report suspicious activity. You don’t leave your property and confront cars on the street, shoot at them and call it “Self Defense”! You wonder why they want to take peoples guns away?

  28. dave says:

    I hope the home owner loses his right to own a gun and spends a few years in jail.

  29. Geezer says:

    Pokémon Go doesn’t signal a threat to anyone’s life, just the fact that some people
    have too much time on their hands. The homeowner in question needs to be carted
    away to a cell. Maybe one of those new stacked, kennel-like jail cells?

    That dude is nuts.

  30. TFE says:

    Seriously … some people think it’s okay to have shot at these kids! (?)

    What if it was the newspaper carrier resorting his/her newspapers… what if it was someone trying to get their baby refastened in their car seat after crawling out. ??

    Someone posted on here “if i had a vehicle coming at me i probably would have done the same.” WTH?
    Really? What you have stood in front of the vehicle with a gun drawn?

    Let me ask you this: If your in the car minding your own business and a 40yr old man walks out from the darkness and holds you up at gunpoint, what would you do? You might hit the gas, right? (after crapping yourself)

    When that homeowner walked outside his home and pulled a gun on a vehicle in the public right of way, he was wrong. End of story, game over. As long as what is printed here is true, this man will have charges against him and he will likely serve jail time. Don’t own a gun unless you have self-control. Simple.

  31. Former Teen says:

    @Bc and @Retiredlawenforcement — Victim Blaming? Really? You say the kids deserved to be shot at because they were playing a video game at 0130? Several years ago I was a teen, and I had friends over for all-nighters playing video games. The old video games kept us inside, but we still made cola+chips runs at “Early AM.” It’s not a school night, so it’s perfectly reasonable for a 19 year old adult to be out at 1:00AM.

    It’s perfectly reasonable for two teens to be playing video games at 1:30AM. It’s not reasonable for those teens (one adult one kid) to get shot at simply because they were outside.

    Michael Pagliro should be charged not only with attempted manslaughter (he fired a gun at a person: he should understand that he might kill that person), but also with a litany of other charges including property damage, brandishing a firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm, and probably others. At the very least, Pagliro should get fined for improper use of his firearm. From there, as referenced by Kirk Chong, the teens and/or parents of the teens should file a significant civil lawsuit against Pagliro.

  32. DaveT says:

    I can tell you this the homeowner was NOT ‘standing his ground” he was looking to inflect harm. This guy at 41 Primrose Ln walked and stood in front of a teens car with weapon pointed at them. Pagliro is at fault. He appears to have the same mentality of a man named Zimmerman.

  33. yourstrully says:


  34. Reality says:

    I cannot condone shooting at anyone who has not threatened your life and I think this man should be dealt with in a proper fashion. On the other hand I found this rather interesting, (Florida law allows agencies to withhold identification of cops’ family members). So it seems that everyone lives can be put on public display when they have a bit of misfortune in their lives except for the exempted law Family’s? Am I the only person who sees a problem with this?

  35. Littlemommie says:

    There is clearly a misunderstanding on the part of the Sheriff, ““Gun owners have a responsibility to be responsible gun owners. They have to understand that once that gun is discharged, they have to understand that they’re responsible for that bullet.” No it is all the fault of the guns. That is why more gun control is being called for.

  36. Sherry says:

    It is completely reprehensible to me that people are NOT arrested when discharging lethal weapons aimed at humans on “PUBLIC” property! This dramatically demonstrates the terrible “slippery slope” of the whole “Stand Your Ground” lunacy. . . that strongly encourages such horrific violence and gun play even in residential neighborhoods!

    Our country is quickly becoming the Wild West . . . where human life was easily expendable. . . especially if you were the wrong skin color! Thanks NRA!

  37. Geezer says:

    Imagine, shooting at someone’s children over some picayune perceived annoyance.
    We’re talking about a sixteen, and a nineteen-year-old fleeing small but deadly bullets
    shot by a nut-job. I’m may not be Carl Jung, but I know when someone has lost their
    proverbial marbles.

    This not some mere peccadillo, but a strange case of reckless endangerment of human
    life and perhaps attempted murder. I’ll be watching for updates, as this cannot stand
    as it is.

    Imagine someone shooting at your kid(s)?
    What would you do?

  38. Mom of the 19 year old says:

    Thank you for all of the support throughout this whole situation. It has been dreadful to say the least, I am simply great full the boys are ok…
    As far as where were the parents? We all knew where our boys were. They happened to have been on their way home, before their parental given curfew. On their drive, the stupid Pokémon showed up on the 16 year old, who btw, has turned 17 since this happened, and they stopped. For whatever reason, I feel people reading this need to know that both of these boys are honor students. Both have more community service hours racked up than most kids their age combined. One is in college and the other will start his senior year of high school and have been friends for over 10 years. My son does have a job as well, which comments have been made, if he had a job maybe he wouldn’t have been out so late… I think people are forgetting what it was like to be a teenager. When people my age were kids, we could go out at night and walk to friends houses, there were no concerns. Kids can’t do anything today. And here in Palm Compton, a city that shuts down at 8 or 9 at night, and there’s still nothing for kids to do, we, as parents still should not have to worry if for some reason they need to pull over, whether to find a Pokémon or figure out where the hell they’re at cuz there’s no frigging lights in these neighborhoods… we should NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING SHOT AT! Period. End of story. If you’re nervous of someone in front of your house, call the police. That’s what they’re there for.

  39. Oldseadog says:

    Very well said Mom of the 19 year old!

  40. Katie Semore says:

    Womderful comments mom of 19 year old!

  41. Sherry says:

    We support the rights of ALL kids and families to enjoy their neighborhoods WITHOUT the fear of being shot at, or killed/injured by some lunatic neighbor who thinks he can act like Clint Eastwood. This is real life and people are using real lethal weapons, not props!

    Has this perp been arrested yet? If not, why not? We are calling on you, sheriff, to do your job in keeping our neighborhoods safe!

    What an incredibly SAD statement about our culture that a mom of an innocent child has to defend against “bigoted/prejudice” assumptions and judgement of her child based only on skin color. Well done “Mom of the 19 year old”. I apologize for those in our community who posted negative comments regarding your son. . . . ignorance is often NOT bliss. . . it’s just ignorance, often mixed with media stoked fear and bias.

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