TACOMA — Police are telling runners and walkers in Tacoma to watch out. Tuesday night, they got several reports of people being shot by paintballs along the waterfront and in downtown. They are investigating, but have not located the suspects or vehicle involved yet.
“It kind felt like a rock coming off a car. I looked down, and I had orange paint all over. Then one of the girls said, ‘You’ve just been shot with a paintball gun.’”
After the shock wore off, they called 911.
“It looked like four young boys, like teenagers,” says Archer. ”It happened so fast, but I think it was a silver late 80s Honda-style car.”
There have been cases of paintball drive-bys around the country before. Several years ago, a group of teens were caught after they uploaded video of their crimes online. Tacoma police say paintball guns are considered weapons, and suspects who are caught can be charged with assault.
Archer is glad to hear that.
“At first I blew it off, I thought it’s kids being kids. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought this could have really hurt someone,” she says. “I was with a baby. What if it missed me and hit the baby?”
She has a pretty bad bruise on her backside.
“It hurt, it’s not something comfortable,” she admits. “And it was so close, that’s why they wear body armor when they paintball because it hurts.”
She’s posted warnings on her running group’s online site, so others know about the risks in this area.
Tacoma police say they’ve never had incidents like this before, but this is a good reminder for runners and walkers to always be aware of their surroundings.
They say if anyone else out there is a victim or know about these possible suspects, they should contact police.