Police: Young kids being hit with airsoft pistols

August 3, 2010 4:34:33 PM PDT
Parents in the Kingwood area are warning their kids to stay close to home after reports of three kids being randomly shot with airsoft pellet guns. Police say those responsible are playing a dangerous game. Police say it happened twice Monday, starting at an elementary playground near Elm Grove Elementary. Two young brothers say a teenager walked up to them, started a conversation and then shot them with a plastic pellet gun.

A few hours later on a nearby street, another boy was shot by the same type of pellet, fired from a passing car.

The plastic pistols are not new. They shoot plastic pellets at high velocity. They've been criticized for too closely resembling real handguns, distinguished only by an orange marking on the barrel which is sometimes removed.

The pellets can hurt and can damage eyes if they're unprotected. In this case, the kids who were struck are said to be bruised and, says the mother of two of the boys, frightened. She asked her name not be used.

"He couldn't go to sleep last night. He had nightmares. My middle son had nightmares last night. They don't want to go outside and play. These are kids who ride their bikes all the time and they won't go outside without an adult," she said.

Police don't see it as a prank either, but an assault and it could have serious consequences for the people doing it. It goes back to the appearance of the plastic pistol.

"If they pull these things on somebody with a real firearm, they're probably gonna get shot. If somebody pulls one of these things on me, I'd consider using deadly force," said Lt. Carlton Brown of the Houston Police Department.

It's a concern in a neighborhood where families live, where kids play, and until this week, without being on the lookout for someone wielding a pellet gun. Charley Johnson listened to his mother.

"She told me not to go down Northpark. I'm heading through the neighborhood to go to driver's ed so I won't get shot," he said.

The kids who were shot are said to be terrified and bruised. No parents we found fault them for being scared.

"You don't know if it's the barrel of an actual gun or not," said resident Amanda McCabe.

The suspects are described as being anywhere from 17 to 25 years old. If they are caught, they could be charged with assault.

Police do have a description of the car.

"It's a black Honda, '98 to an '05, and it had a red stripe and a spoiler, tinted windows, black rims and black headlight covers," said Lt. Brown.

Anyone with information on the shooting or the car is asked to call Houston police at 281-913-4500.

You can read more about the pellet gun shootings in The Kingwood Observer, one of our Houston Community Newspaper partners.


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