The University of Chicago is asking students and staff to watch out for paintball gun shootings after the school received eight reports of pedestrian attacks in the last several days.
“They appear to be part of a pattern of paintball incidents reported in other parts of Chicago and suburbs in recent weeks,” the university warned the school community Monday. “While these incidents typically have not caused serious injury, they pose a community hazard and we take them seriously.”
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These paintball drive-bys likely aren’t the work of a rogue actor. Victims have reported several different cars involved, including a silver or white sedan, a red or maroon Mercedes, and a dark or black sedan.
Though most have occurred off campus, the school said “several of the incidents” have been at the school.
The University of Chicago Police Department is patrolling to try to stem the attacks.
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Dr. Ema Avdagic, a resident physician at the University of Chicago, told WGN9 that there was an uptick in attacks Saturday afternoon that continued through Monday morning.
“Over the last 48 hours, there have been at least seven vision-threatening injuries to the eye and quite a few of them required urgent surgery,” Dr. Avdagic told the local news outlet.
“The traumas range from superficial scratches on the surface of the eye to bleeding inside the eye. … To something called a globed rupture, which is similar to what it sounds, the actual eye ruptures.”
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UCPD is urging students and faculty to use caution and be aware of their surroundings at all times.
Other cities also have seen an uptick in paintball shootings recently.
“In 2020, the LAPD has seen 80 paintball shootings, with 75 of those in South LA,” the LAPD warned last month. “Paintball guns can look like real assault rifles, can shoot bullets at speeds of 300 ft per second, can cause serious injury & people can be charged with a felony for shooting someone with them.”