Paintball's a sport that people have enjoyed for years, and when safety precautions are taken, it can be a lot of fun. But around the country, police say increasingly they are seeing paintball guns being used in random attacks on innocent people on the street, among them 18-year-old Ashtann Lewis.
"I got hit in my leg and I covered my face because I didn’t want to be hit in the face,” Lewis told Inside Edition. “And I didn’t even know it was a paintball gun. I heard shots and thought it was a real gun.”
Paintballs can be so intimidating, even cops used it for crowd control during this summer of civil unrest. In Minneapolis, cops opened fire with paintballs on some civilians who were watching from a front porch.
At many paintball arenas, you’re required to wear protective gear for your body, your face and especially your eyes. The paintball gun can shoot 300 feet per second, and although the pellets may not kill you, they still can cause some serious injury.
In Los Angeles, the police department reports a 30% uptick in paintball shootings. Now officials like Councilman Joe Buscaino are asking for the violence to stop. “It is a recipe for disaster,” the councilman told Inside Edition.