Locals Report Being Shot By Gel Blasters Or Airsoft Guns
Spring break is in full force here in Midlothian, but that also means more free time for mischief. The latest TikTok challenge has local police responding to reports of residents being hit by Airsoft guns or gel blasters. It’s officially referred to as the Orbeez challenge, and involves shooting soft gel Orbeez balls at people with a gel-ball gun or an airsoft gun usually while “driving by”. The Orbeez balls when shot are like water filled BBs and can cause serious injuries. Those that have been hit by these gel filled balls describe the pain as similar to that of being hit by a paintball.
Midlothian PD has responded to multiple incidents of individuals being shot and struck by air soft rounds while in public areas on foot. One report involved an individual being hit while riding their bike in a local subdivision. Many of these airsoft guns are made to appear the same as actual firearms and while they aren’t considered a lethal weapon they are capable of inflicting bodily injury and could easily be mistaken for an actual firearm. Many police departments, including Midlothian, are concerned someone may mistake the airsoft gun for a lethal weapon and respond in a lethal manner.
Some offenses associated with these incidents have risen to the level of a Class A Assault.
Based on information provided Midlothian Police Department believes the suspects to likely be juveniles. At least two different residents commented on social media, they saw incidents happen at Midlothian’s Community Park. MPD will prosecute offenders to the full extent of the law when possible.
Message For Parents from MPD– If your child has an airsoft gun please make sure they are aware the consequences and potential for the weapon being mistaken for an actual firearm.
A suspect vehicle involved in a recent incident was described as a dark colored SUV. Please call 911 if you witness any of this activity. If possible note the type of vehicle and license plate number as well as a description of the suspects.