There have been 208 paintball shootings reported across the city in September and October, according to records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. That's nearly five times the 42 attacks reported between January and August.
Though the shootings have been recorded all over the city, the South and West sides have seen the brunt of them. The Englewood and West Englewood community areas saw the most attacks, with 17 combined shootings reported in September. (CPD did not release specific data on where the shootings have taken place in October.)
Chatham - where a 44-year-old CTA bus driver was targeted on Monday - is next on the list with seven reported attacks last month, while Austin recorded six.
In the past 24 hours, seven people were attacked in the Chicago Police Department's 10th District, which covers the Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods, Chicago police said. One victim lost an eye. Five paintball guns were recovered during the six arrests made, according to police.
Deputy Chief Ernest Cato said six people were arrested Friday after being found with paintball guns and assorted paraphernalia. Detectives are investigating whether those in custody carried out any of the seven latest shootings.
Also among last night's paintball shooting victims was a 33-year-old man attacked Thursday night in Streeterville.
The victim was on the sidewalk about 10:20 p.m. in the 400-block of East Illinois Street when he "began feeling something striking him all over the body," according to Chicago police.
The man realized he'd been hit by paintballs and suffered bruising and swelling to his left hand, police said. He declined medical treatment.
He told investigators he didn't see who shot at him, police said.
Two glass workers at a Vans store in the Loop were also targeted earlier Thursday. They declined medical treatment.
"Using a paintball gun on an unsuspecting person is not only reckless, but also extremely dangerous," a CPD spokeswoman said. "The projectiles can cause serious injuries and the shooter can be charged with a felony. CPD urges residents to stay vigilant of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to police."
RELATED: Paintball attacks targeting Chicago pedestrians surging, doctor warns
Police didn't respond to questions about what might be driving the attacks or whether any are related.
Typically, eye surgeons at the University of Chicago Medical Center see one paintball-related eye injury every few months. But as a result of this disturbing trend, doctors there said they treated as many as eight patients in one weekend.
Authorities are warning others about a dangerous pattern: Paintball attacks on pedestrians in Chicago have sent several to the hospital with serious eye injuries.
"High-velocity paintball injuries can be severely damaging to eyes, and it will often result in permanent vision loss," said Dr. Hassan Shah, an ophthalmologist at University of Chicago Medical Center.
A CTA bus driver was hit by pellets from a paintball gun and had to be taken to the hospital Monday night.
Last week, a bicyclist was shot with a paintball gun in the 1800-block of West Hubbard Street, police said. In a separate incident, a man who was walking his dog in the West Loop was struck several times when a passing white sedan fired pellets at him.
Sun-Times Media contributed to this report.