A teen boy was shot and killed on Wednesday after meeting up with strangers to sell an Xbox he advertised on an online marketplace site.
ABC 6 reports that 16-year-old Johnny Peluyera of Merrillville, Indiana, posted his Xbox for sale on Offerup, a site where buyers and sellers alike connect to buy or sell merchandise. Johnny’s father drove the boy to Gary to sell the gaming system after potential customers contacted him.
At around 6:05 p.m, officers arrived at 51st Avenue and Maryland Street after reports of shots fired. When they arrived, they found the teen with a fatal gunshot to his back. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police, the boy met the suspects while his father waited in the car for his son to complete the transaction. The suspects asked the boy to follow them to an abandoned home, where they could plug the system in and test it. The boy reportedly complied.
“They took them to an abandoned home and they stated they wanted to test the Xbox, and went to these other houses, and just used the outdoor outlet to see if the Xbox worked,” said Commander Jack Hamady of the Gary Police Department.
Johnny’s father told police he could clearly see his son in full view as the suspects tested the Xbox, when suddenly, one of the men pulled a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the victim.
The suspect demanded that Johnny leave the Xbox, but the boy apparently grabbed the gaming system and started running back toward his father’s car. That’s when gunshots rang out.
“My son is gone. My son is never coming back.” Kelly Arroyo, the victims’ mother, told the outlet. “The emptiness that is in my heart and my stomach and my soul and my body is almost unbearable.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, authorities are searching for two male suspects who appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s. Both wore basketball-style shorts. One of the suspects wore a grey hoodie, while the other suspect had on a black hoodie.
Anyone with information can contact Detective Mike Equihua of the Lake/Gary Metro Homicide Unit at 219-755-3852 or 866-274-6347.
[Feature Photo: Johnny Peluyera/Handout]