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PS3 crime spree, part V: Suspected PS3 thief killed by deputy

Cyrus Farivar
December 4, 2006
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We thought we'd seen it all when it came to PS3 absurdity: profiteering (to be expected), shooting (wha?), and general crime and assault (dudes, please chill out), but we're deeply saddened now that we've gotten word of the first PS3-related fatality. On Friday, a sheriff's deputy in New Hanover County, North Carolina (that's the deep southeastern corner of the state) shot and killed Peyton Strickland, an 18-year-old University of North Carolina Wilmington student who was suspected of armed robbery of two PS3s. To be fair, we don't have all the facts in, so it's not clear exactly why gunshots were even necessary. Here's what we do know, thanks to a report from the local newspaper, the Wilmington Star-News: on that fateful night, Strickland was to be served a search warrant; he and his roommate, Mike Rhoton (pictured at left) were "playing a PlayStation video game" (we're guessing that means a PS3, given that the article later mentions "Tiger Woods PGA Tour" specifically), when there was a knock at the door. Strickland went to answer it, but before he could, officers banged the door down, pinned Rhoton to the floor, fired "four or five shots," and Strickland was dead. Adding to the confusion and tragedy of this whole situation, Rhoton later added that Strickland "may have been holding a PlayStation controller in his hand" when he went to answer the door, and that his roommate apparently had three unloaded guns in his bedroom at the time, which may have led to the officers' aggressive tactics. The officers and deputies are currently under investigation by the county District Attorney and the State Bureau of Investigation.

[Photo by Paul Stephen, courtesy of Wilmington Star-News]



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