Chula Vista Police Department

‘It's Very Stupid': Another TikTok-Influenced Projectile Shooting Prompts Police Warning

In at least one case, a challenge participant who brandished a fake firearm was met by an individual who thought the gun was real. That person pulled out a real firearm in defense

Air soft pellets, gun, and Orbeez
Joe Little, NBC 7

Another attack was made over the weekend in the latest of what appears to be a social media challenge that calls on people to randomly shoot strangers with a gel-ball projectile.

The Chula Vista Police Department has seen at least 10 of these drive-by-style attacks. The shooters at first would use a gun that shoots Orbeez balls -- a small colorful plastic pellet that expands when placed in water -- but airsoft guns and BB guns have also been used.

“It’s very stupid. This could have very tragic consequences,” warned CVPD Lt. Dan Peak.

The trend has been gaining popularity on the social media app TikTok, and the CVPD asked parents to be vigilant with their children if they own an airsoft gun that fires Orbeez.

Several people have already been arrested, CVPD said. Anyone who is found to be committing these crimes could face up to felony assault charges.

“It’s considered assault with a deadly weapon. So, these juveniles may think they’re doing a prank, the next thing you know they’re going to be in Juvenile Hall,” explained Peak.

In at least one case, a challenge participant who brandished a fake firearm was met by an individual who thought the gun was real. That person pulled out a real firearm in defense, CVPD said.

In other cases, the challenge has caused car crashes.

At least nine drive-by-style shootings with airsoft guns have been reported in Chula Vista over the last year. NBC 7's Joe Little has the story.

“Kids shouldn’t be going around pretending they’re doing drive-by shootings of people,” said a Chula Vista man who asked to be identified as “Bogey."

The man said he and his wife were shot last Sunday near Eastlake by a group of teenagers or young men in a four-door car.

“Stops right next to us. We look. Instinctively as we start getting hit with something in the face and our body, we covered our face,” described Bogey with his hands over his face. “The fact that kids are doing this and thinking this is funny; it’s not a joke and there’s going to be consequences.”

Peak said CVPD has received more than 40 calls in the last year from people witnessing similar attacks.

"With the nature of these 'challenges,' victims could be seriously hurt with an ill-placed shot," CVPD said. There have not been any serious injuries yet.

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