Duck Hunt Gun Allegedly Used In Attempted Robbery

A man has been accused of using a gun from Nintendo's Duck Hunt in an attempted robbery.

By Jason Collins | Updated

duck hunt

A man in Charlotte, North Carolina, was arrested after being accused of using a gun-shaped controller to rob a business. And yes, you’ve guessed it, the suspect was accused of using a spray-painted Nintendo Entertainment System Zapper controller, which was used to play 1984’s Duck Hunt video game originally developed for Nintendo’s Famicom console.

According to Action News 5, the arrested individual has been named as 25-year-old David Joseph Dalesandro. The official deputy report stated that Dalesandro walked into a store in Charlotte, North Carolina, wearing a wig and a mask on May 30. The suspect was armed with a black spray-painted NES Zapper controller—the one used for Duck Hunt—which he allegedly aimed at the owner of the shop, demanding that they hand over the money from the cash register.

The suspect allegedly stole some $300 from the store in total and was subsequently arrested.

Other sources state the suspect only showed the Duck Hunt gun tucked in the waistband of his pants to the store clerk and demanded money from the register. The same source states that deputies found the Duck Hunt gun in the suspect’s pants and that he was arrested and booked into the York Country Detention Center. Online records associated with the incident and detention show that Dalesandro remained jailed with no bond and that it’s not currently clear if he had obtained a lawyer.

We have to admit that this is the first time we’re hearing about someone using an NES Zapper controller to commit a crime. Admittedly, video game controllers have occasionally been involved in crime-related incidents, such as disputes over gaming consoles or game equipment theft, but this is the first documented instance of a Duck Hunt gun being used as a tool for robbery or any other criminal activity. They mostly either collect dust and are typically loved by NES game console collectors and restorers.

duck hunt

Duck Hunt is a cult classic game that’s based on a rather simple complex—you shoot wild, pixelated ducks using the NES Zapper light gun. The objective is to shoot a certain number of ducks in mid-flight to progress through one level and onto the next by aiming them with the gun controller and shooting. Each round would consist of ten targets to shoot, and the player has three attempts to shoot a moving target before they disappear. Failing to shoot the required number of ducks in one round would result in a game over.

Interestingly enough, Nintendo game collectors can’t actually use the original Duck Hunt gun on modern TV sets due to the inherent differences in operational design. The Zapper was created to detect the changes in light made by the beam of electrons hitting a phosphor-coated screen of the CRT TV display. The sensor within the gun was specifically designed to pick up those changes, which can’t be reproduced on modern TVs. So, collectors mostly rely on hacks and third-party Zapper guns that are specifically made for gaming on NES using a modern TV screen.