An 18-year-old man was shot to death early Sunday morning in London, Ontario, as he tried to locate his cell phone using a tracking app.
Jeremy Cook had left his phone in a taxi but was able to trace it to a parking lot at around 5:15 a.m. on Sunday, police said.
Cook was accompanied by a relative as he approached a car with three men inside, according to CBC. When the vehicle began to drive off, Cook grabbed on to the door handle and was subsequently shot multiple times.
“It’s certainly extreme,” London Police Const. Ken Steeves told the Canadian Press. “No one ever would have predicted or even thought that a loss of life would have resulted from a loss of a phone.”
The incident has led to officers cautioning against the use of tracking apps to locate a stolen phone.
“The major danger is that you have someone who has committed a crime, and when confronted … you don’t know what their reactions might be,” Const. Victor Kwong told the Globe and Mail.
He added that there was less risk involved if it was a case of a lost and found phone, which had to be returned to its owner.
“We have no problem with people saying ‘Meet up in front of a police station’ to do these things,” Kwong stated. "That usually will deter a lot of criminality.”
Steeves emphasized that the app could not be blamed for Cook’s death.
“It wasn’t the app that took away Jeremy’s life, it was the individuals, which would be rare, who happened to be armed with a gun,” he stated.
After Cook was shot, his body was discovered behind a local store. The car was found crashed and abandoned nearby, along with Cook’s phone.
Police retrieved surveillance footage of the area and are searching for three suspects between the ages of 18 and 21. One is described as a black male wearing a white shirt, another is a black male with short hair and a black jacket, and the third is a black male with a slim build wearing a blue shirt.
Cook’s murder has unsettled people in the local area.
“How are you supposed to sleep when someone’s going to get shot over a cellphone?” asked Justin Yong, a student, according to the Globe and Mail.
Photo Credit: Daily Mail