Slew Of Paintball Shootings In LA Has Police Involved – CBS Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Authorities see paintball shootouts spike again this year in Los Angeles.
The LA Police Department reported Wednesday that there have been 90 paintball shootouts so far this year, most of which have occurred in south LA. In addition, the shooters record themselves and then upload the videos to social media, the police said.
Investigators say the victims were simply in their neighborhood, as was Ashtann Lewis when she was shot dead in front of her friend last week.
“He’s pulling out a gun and I didn’t know it was a paintball gun … he just starts shooting,” she said. “I didn’t even know I was hit by a paintball gun. I thought I was shot. I literally thought I was going to die. “
Police added that it is a crime to shoot someone with a paintball gun in public. Police said they had arrested eight people in the last week alone.
“Paintball cannons can look like real assault rifles and shoot bullets at speeds of 300 feet per second,” the LAPD said in a press release.
Authorities said they were not only concerned for the safety of those who could be shot by a paintball gun.
“An officer will encounter a young person armed with one of those realistic looking paintball guns and be forced to make a decision of life or death in a split second,” said Captain Scot Williams.
The LAPD said they have not had close encounters like this before. They said they noticed paintball guns were being sold from ice cream trucks, which made it easier for young people to get their hands on them.
Paintballs can cause serious soft tissue injuries.
This is not a new problem for the police. Back in June 2019, the LAPD reported a similar trend with people posting paintball shoots on social media. However, they say these incidents have increased by 30% since the last year.