'Shoe game' motive explored in Grayson teen's death - FOX 35 News Orlando

'Shoe game' motive explored in Grayson teen's death

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GRAYSON, Ga. -

Investigators are looking into the possibility that a Grayson High freshman was shot to death over shoes.

Paul Sampleton Jr. was found dead of a gunshot wound at his home on Wednesday. The 14-year-old was an avid shoe collector, involved in a sneaker culture that's called "the shoe game." Police aren't calling it a motive, but they say it's one of the things they are investigating.

"While we are considering the ‘sneaker game' angle, the fact that he might have been involved in trading these sneakers, we're not willing to call that a motive in this case," said Cpl. Jake Smith of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Friends say Sampleton traded and sold basketball shoes on websites like Addicted to All Things Fresh, a sort of Craigslist for shoes site.  

Police acknowledge they have seen growing violence around the shoe game in recent weeks.

"We have seen kind of a trend recently here in Gwinnett County of people actually being targeted for their shoes," said Smith.

Jasen Reynolds and Joseph Muller are avid shoe gamers and were shocked about the possibility shoes could have played a part in a teen's death.

Reynolds and Mueller FOX 5's Justin Gray in a Walmart parking on Friday --  the kind of place they say they meet people about shoes for safety reasons.

"We prefer them to be extra, extra safe -- even to the point of meeting in the parking lot of a police station or precinct or something like that," said Smith.

Police said that they do have some strong leads they are following in Sampleton's murder and the shoe game is one of the possibilities they are working.

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