Gamer thwarts gunman’s attempt to steal ‘Call of Duty’

How bad did one man want “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” which was released Tuesday?

Bad enough to follow a customer home from a Northland GameStop, point a gun and try to steal his game, according to court records released Tuesday.

But not as bad as the customer, who refused to cough up his copy and fought the would-be robber for control of the gun, the court records said.

The would-be robber fled and allegedly returned to the GameStop, 215 N.E. Englewood Road, where authorities found him standing in line waiting to buy the game.

Platte County prosecutors charged David E. Morales, 18, of North Kansas City Tuesday with attempted robbery and armed criminal action. He remained in jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

Court records gave this account:

Morales went to the store shortly after midnight to buy the game but became discouraged by the long line of customers. He then considered “taking it from somebody so that he could get it for free.”

That’s when Morales spotted Adam Freeman leaving the store with his reserved copy of the game. Morales allegedly followed Freeman to his apartment in the 2000 block of N.W. 68th Terrace. When Freeman pulled into a parking lot stall, Morales allegedly parked his red Ford Explorer behind him, blocking him in.

Freeman stepped out of his car when a young man wearing a hood approached and “racked a round” in his gun.

“Give me the game!” the gunman ordered.

“(Expletive) you!” Freeman replied.

The gunman racked another round, causing the first round to eject and fall on the ground. Freeman grabbed the gun’s barrel and pushed it back toward the gunman. The pair struggled briefly before the gunman climbed back into his vehicle and sped away.

Freeman ran to his apartment and called 911.

Officers went to the GameStop to see if the store had any surveillance video and saw a red Ford Explorer in the parking lot and a man matching the robber’s description inside.

Officers walked into the store and yelled, “Let me see your hands!”

Everyone inside the store raised their hands except for Morales, according to court records. Morales admitted he “played dumb at first,” but later told police he tried to rob the victim, according to court records.

Morales told detectives he “freaked out” because he didn’t expect the victim to fight.

Freeman said he didn’t really plan on fighting either. His instincts just kicked in, he said.

“I don’t remember thinking anything,” he told reporters at the prosecutors’ press conference this afternoon. “He was there and he presented a threat. It was self-defense, I guess.”

The real-life fight was “much more intense, much more scary,” than the action in the “Call of Duty” video game series, Freeman said.

And it’s not something he wants to go through again.

“If I had more time to think about it, I probably would have just given him the game,” he said. “It’s a wonderful game, but it’s not worth dying over.”