6 arrested in Chicago paintball shooting attacks released without charges, police say

7 paintball shootings reported in Chicago within 24 hours Friday, CPD says

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, November 2, 2020
6 arrested in citywide paintball shootings released without charges: police
Six people who were arrested Friday following a rash of paintball shootings in Little Village and Lawndale have been released from custody, according to police.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Six people who were arrested Friday following a rash of paintball shootings in Little Village and Lawndale have been released from custody, according to police.

The six suspects were taken into custody Friday after seven people were hurt in paintball shootings within 24 hours in the police department's 10th District, which covers Little Village and Lawndale. One of those people lost his eye after being shot.

Chicago police announced six arrests Friday evening for the latest in an explosion of paintball attacks and shootings around the city.

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.

Also among growing number of paintball shooting victims was a 33-year-old man attacked Thursday night in Streeterville.

A paintball shooting in Streeterville left a man hurt Thursday night, Chicago police said.

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 glassworkers 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

Paintball attacks on pedestrians in Chicago are sending several to the hospital with serious eye injuries.

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.

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.

Officers also recovered five paintball guns and ammunition, but by Sunday evening the suspects had been released without charges, police said. The shootings remain under investigation by Area Four detectives.

Over 200 paintball shootings were reported in September and October alone - nearly five times as many shootings as had been reported between January and August.

Sun-Times Media contributed to this report.

The video featured is from a previous report.