CALIFORNIA—The Los Angeles Police Department has issued a warning against paintball shootings in Los Angeles and are asking the public to identify those involved on Thursday, September 3.

@LAPD Headquarters

The department had encountered 80 paintball shootings this year with 75 of them being in South Los Angeles alone. With the continuance of these attacks, the people responsible will be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon as paintball guns can cause serious damage and injuries. The suspects have been filming the recent shootings and uploading them on social media. The paintball guns also resemble actual guns, which poses as a major issue for the police.

“Paintball guns can look like real assault rifles and have the capacity to shoot bullets at a speed of 300 feet per second,” police said. “Paintball guns can cause serious soft tissue damage even if the person is wearing clothing over the area. Using a paintball gun to shoot is a felony.”

The paintball guns have been sold out of regular ice-cream trucks, making them easier for younger people to attain them. The LAPD previously announced the issue in 2019. Since then, these incidents have increased approximately 30%.

In 2018, one 5-year-old boy was struck in the face and almost lost an eye. Another recent victim, Dionika Lewis, stated to Fox 11, “We could have gotten seriously hurt. Somebody could’ve needed ambulance at the moment. This isn’t right, I don’t know why people think this is safe, it’s not, it’s terrible.”

The police have arrested eight people so far, ranging from ages between 14 to a mid-20-year-old.