COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus police are investigating several cases of individuals being shot by people with paintball guns, while going about their business in the city.
Four incidents have been reported to police over the last ten days.
According to police, two of the cases happened on the city’s south side, near South Champion Avenue and Forest Avenue, and a few blocks away near South Champion Avenue and East Whittier Street.
The two others occurred near North High Street and Dodridge Street, and in the area of East Hudson Street and Indianola Avenue.
“The fact that this is happening all over the city is very frustrating,” said Sgt. James Fuqua, from the Columbus Division of Police.
According to Fuqua, shooting someone with a paintball gun could result in the offender facing an assault charge, and possible jail time. It could also result in the victim being seriously injured.
“We have seen, in the past, people be severly injured where they’ve almost lost an eye, had hearing loss, severe trauma and just the mental aspect of that,” he said. “You’re really putting a lot of pressure on the victim when you think it may just be a good time.”
Fuqua added that some individuals may find it difficult to tell the difference between a paintball gun and a gun with bullets, and that could lead to shots being fired at the offender, if someone armed sees it.
“You can potentially put yourself in danger of not only hurting that person, but harming yourself because they may have a real firearm on them and can cause you bodily harm,” he explained.
Fuqua said no arrests have been made in the four cases, as he urges the public to use paintball guns safely.
“There are plenty of places here in central Ohio that you can take those paintball guns and have a good time,” he said. “We would love for you to go and do that and, to be quite frank, they are much more awesome than just driving around a random street and shooting it off.”