After he accidentally left his phone in a London, Ontario taxi, 18-year-old Jeremy Cook signed into a tracking app to figure out where it ended up. As he approached the address with a relative around 5 a.m., police told the Canadian Press, he was confronted by three men in a Mazda Sedan—apparently, they had found his phone.
Police say Cook tried to take it back from them, but they began driving away. When he grabbed onto the driver’s side door, he was shot multiple times. Police found his body behind a nearby strip mall.
The car was later found crashed into a fence and a telephone pole, and the CBC reports “police also recovered Cook’s phone”—although they didn’t specify whether it was in the car or left at the scene.
The events leading up to the shooting are “still being pieced together,” police said, but Cook had never been in trouble with the law and apparently had no connection to the shooter.
Police arrested three people near the scene, but let them go after determining they weren’t involved.
London Police Constable Ken Steeves told the Canadian Press he doesn’t blame the kid for trying to get his phone back, and isn’t against people using tracking apps, but the police are happy to help anyone in a similar situation. (London Police are unusually helpful in this regard—police in several American and Canadian cities have refused to help victims recover phones, even with GPS information pointing to their precise locations.)
“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,” Steeves said.