Oculus Rift Co-Founder Killed Amidst Police Chase
The gaming industry lost one of its best and brightest Thursday when graphic designer Andrew Scott Reisse, 33, was struck and killed as a pedestrian bystander during a police chase in Santa Ana, California.
Although the full details have yet to be released, police was involved in a high-speed chase when Reisse, unknowingly crossed the Santa Ana crosswalk in the area of Flower Street and MacArthur Boulevard and was suddenly struck and instantly killed.
Investigators claim the incident began at 11:50 am when officers spotted criminal activity in two vechiles. When officers questioned the suspects there was a physical altercation between police and 26-year-old Gerardo Diego Ayala which escalated with the fatal shooting of one of the suspects. That’s when 21-year-old Victor Sanchez and two other suspects took off in a Dodge Charger. The Charger slammed into two vehicles during the pursuit collimating in Reisse’s death.
Santa Ana Police captain Anthony Bertagna claimed the suspects ran through several red lights, including the one where Reisse was struck.
Reisse is best known as the co-founder of Oculus Rift, a company that produces virtual reality headsets for gamers which first made its appearance on the Kickstarter campaign was started by Luckey who had hoped to raise $250,000 to develop the device. After just 30 days, the project raised $2,437,429 and had 9,522 backers between August and September 2012. The Oculus went on to make headlines when it was used to successfully simulate a guillotine.
An official company statement from the Oculus VR expressed their loss,
Andrew was a brilliant computer graphics engineer, an avid photographer and hiker who loved nature, a true loyal friend, and a founding member of our close-knit Oculus family. Some of us have known Andrew since college, and have worked with him at multiple companies beginning with Scaleform in Maryland which he helped start at age 19, then at Gaikai in Aliso Viejo which brought him out to California, and finally at Oculus where he was a co-founder and lead engineer. Andrew’s contributions span far and wide in the video game industry. His code is embedded in thousands of games played by millions of people around the world. Words can not express how sorely he will be missed or how deeply our sympathy runs for his family Andrew will always be in our thoughts and will never be forgotten. We love you Reisse.
As the company learned of Reisse’s death, a grief counselor was available for coworkers, as many of them have known Reisse since college.
The suspects were taken into custody. Police say all are gang members on probation, with outstanding warrants for their arrest. Sanchez is recovering in the hospital from injuries suffered during the crash. The two other suspects are not yet being identified due to the ongoing investigation.
DualShockers extends its sympathies to Reisse’s family and friends.