Eighteen-year-old Peyton Strickland of Wilmington, North Carolina, accused of robbing a student of two Playstation 3 consoles at the system's launch, died Friday after being shot by police intending to search his home and arrest him. Another man, a 20-year-old student at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, was arrested Friday in connection with the robbery, according to a Wilmington Star News.
The victim of the theft was another student who had waited in line for three days to buy the two consoles at a local Wal-Mart. While transporting the consoles, four men drove up in a gold Pontiac, battered him with a blunt object, and took the hardware by force.
The police went to Strickland's apartment on Friday evening intending to serve a search warrant and arrest him. One of Strickland's three roommates, Mike Rhoton, told the Star-News that the student was killed while walking to answer a knock at the door. The roomate also claimed that Strickland was unarmed, and that he could see no reason why the police opened fire. Strickland's German shepherd was also shot and killed by a deputy. The sheriff's deputies had been called in to help the University police serve the warrants because of safety concerns.
County District Attorney Ben David said that an investigation had been launched and the conduct of all officers and deputies invloved was being reviewed. "No one's above the law. If there's any criminal conduct that can be established, I'm not going to hesitate to treat them as any other defendant," said David.
A series of crimes has dogged the high-profile launch of the PS3 in the US, including a robbery at a California GameStop store, a shooting of a man standing in a line outside a Wal-Mart in Connecticut, and muggings near a Circuit City in Oregon. Similar crimes were reported when the Xbox 360 went on sale in 2005.