FREDERICK, Maryland (WJZ) — A disturbing national trend has made its way to Maryland. The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office is now warning of a violent TikTok trend called the “Orbeez splat gun challenge.”
The challenge urges people to use toy guns to randomly shoot unsuspecting passers-by. Toy guns are filled with Orbeez, watery gel balls marketed to children, as ammunition.
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Although the ammunition cannot cause serious injury, it is enough to sting and cause panic.
Doug Kinsey’s two teenage sons were playing basketball in their Frederick County driveway when a car pulled up and started shooting gel pellets.
“They rolled the window down, the driver said ‘kill them,'” Kinsey said. “Hone of my sons in the cheek, then the driver said “hit the other one” and they shot my other son and hit him in the shoulder.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said the challenge has been completed five times in their area. In one instance, someone rolled down their car window and fired their splash gun at another person walking down the street, similar to a drive-by shooting. Orbeez sometimes explode on impact.
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“You can only imagine the fear this would cause someone who sees a gun, scaring them, they don’t know what’s going on, they don’t know what substance just got on their skin “, said Lt. Jason Deeater of Frederick County. Sheriff’s office.
Authorities are trying to educate parents who may not be aware that this challenge exists.
“We’re trying to get ahead of that,” Deeater said. “Put this information out there, a warning to the community, parents, to watch their children.”
“I was like wow another stupid thing our kids can get involved in except this one is really dangerous right? someone could really get hurt! Frederick County’s mother, Shirley Technie-Mensah, upon hearing about the challenge. “I can’t even think what else TikTok is going to make our stupid kids do – and I say stupid – because some of it is really stupid, and I don’t get it, I don’t get it. ”
The sheriff’s office said such shootings can come with serious charges such as second-degree assault, which could make people think twice about taking up the challenge.
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