Chicago Police

At Least 7 Paintball Attacks Reported Across Chicago in 24-Hour Span

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At least seven paintball attacks occurred throughout the city of Chicago in a recent 24-hour span on top of more than 100 similar incidents reported across the city in the past few months, police said Friday evening.

At a 7 p.m. news conference at the CPD 10th District Police Headquarters, police announced six people were arrested and five paintball guns were seized in the 1200 block of South Kildare, which is located in the North Lawndale neighborhood.

Of the troubling recent incidents, one attack resulted in a man losing an eye, police announced Friday night.

Police said it's not clear if the guns seized by officers were used in that attack.

Detectives are working to determine if the guns in question were used in several attacks across the city, said Ernest Cato, CPD Deputy Chief.

"We are focused on this," Cato said. "We're going to treat these paint guns like they're regular guns, like they're shooting real bullets."

Earlier this month, NBC 5 talked to Collin Pearce, a DePaul University sophomore who was shot with paintballs while walking to a convenience store in Lincoln Park.

"I guess I'm glad that it's not the real guns, because I wouldn't be standing, talking right now," Pearce said.

Over the weekend of Oct. 10-11, the University of Chicago Medical Center treated at least eight people for eye injuries as a result of paintball attacks near the college campus.

“It’s not an injury where you’ll be blurry for a little while and then recover,” Dr. Hassan Shah, a local eye surgeon, said earlier this month. “These are severely devastating to eyes, and it’s very likely that many people with this injury would not recover much vision.”

Dr. Shah says that a wide variety of eye injuries can occur, including bleeding inside of the eye and a potential rupturing of the eyeball or retina.

The attacks appear to be part of a pattern of paintball incidents reported citywide, according to university officials.

Meanwhile, with Halloween on Saturday, police continue to urge people to stay vigilant and to pay attention to their surroundings.

Anyone with information on potential suspects is asked to submit a tip to CPD online.

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