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Drive-by paintball shooting along Tacoma waterfront

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.

photoJessica Archer was walking with friends and one of their babies on Ruston Way Tuesday, when a car drove by and she felt something on her backside.

“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.

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3 comments

  • Michael Welch

    First off let me start by saying that this is uncalled for idiot kids doing stupid stuff and yes they should but acountable . now the story calls them paintball GUNS witch is in correct they are called paintball MARKERS not GUNS so all you gun control people dont start> next we never wear body armor while playing it is not as bad as you think a quick little sting and it over. I have been paint balling for about 12 years now. yes i am sorry there are idiot people out there giving guns and paint ball MARKERS a bad name but befor you write about it you should do you reserch and know what you are talking about befor letting the public read your work.

  • Cooper E

    Really Michael? First they do make paintball body armor I've played and known a few pro that wear it. I would also assume you wear face protection… isn't that a type of armor? Paintball Markers is the PC term to sell to anti gun parents, they are guns in every sense and every paintball manufacture markets them that way. This issue has nothing to do with gun control. I am an NRA member and yes own an AR15 among many of my guns. This is about ambushing and assaulting someone with a type of weapon. If I punch you in the face and leave a bruise is it any different than shooting someone with a paintball gun and leaving a bruise? When you play paintball at a range just like boxing you accept the results, if I walk down the street and I pop you in the face it's assault. Paintballs don't just "sting" they do damage and using an over-pressured one does additional damage and you know it. That is why paintball ranges have speed limit you have to follow when shooting at them. It not the tool it's the person using the tool that is the menace… hammers kill more people than all types of riffles combined each year but I have to fight for my constitutional right to bear arms.

    • Michael Welch

      did you even read my post i agree it is assault and never said it was not and what does punching me in the face have to do with anything idiot. i played pro for over a year and never used body armor a mask is not BODY armor get a clue if you are part of the NRA why would you atack me all i was saying was not to call this GUN violance come pull your head out of your a## you say it is called a MARKER not a gun for the PC anti gun parents then a baseball bat is the PC of a sword you can hit someone and hurt them but not slice them WOW get a clue.