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Multiple Peachtree City children injured after being shot by frozen water bead gun

A young victim of the March 14 Splatter Ball gun wars. Photo - Peachtree City Police Department

By Leah Banks —

PEACHTREE CITY, GA —Two Peachtree City teenagers were arrested on March 15 on charges of aggravated assault after police say they shot frozen water beads at a 10-year-old and 8-year-old child, causing significant bodily harm.

On March 14 at 3:26 p.m., Peachtree City Police responded to a call on Batter Way Boat docks in Peachtree City regarding teens shooting other kids with a paintball gun. 

When officers arrived, one group of teenagers were stopped by parents in reference to the event. Police observed an 8-year-old and 10-year-old child with injuries to the face and abdomen due to the incident. Four 17-year-old males were identified in the area with splatter ball guns when police arrived on the scene. 

The popular children’s themed splatter gun resembles a Nerf Gun. However, splatter guns are battery-powered and fire water beads at a considerable rate. In this case, the water beads were frozen, causing significantly more harm to the individuals who were shot.

Although the teens detained were using the guns during the day of the incident, an investigation revealed they were not responsible for the act that caused harm to two children. The four males were still charged with the city ordinance violation of Discharging Weapons Restricted, police say.

On March 15, a police investigation led to the identification of the individuals responsible for the crime.

“We used cameras in the area to locate the second golf cart. We were able to take still images and identify the juveniles that unprovokedly attacked our juvenile victims,” Peachtree City Police Department Corporal Donte Phillips said.

Due to the area of the injury on the young victim, the unprovoked nature of the crime and the freezing of the water beads to cause more bodily harm, one 14-year-old male was charged with Aggravated Assault. Another was charged with Aggravated Assault (Party to a Crime) and Underage Operation of a Golf Cart.

In addition to these charges, one parent was charged with the ordinance violation of Operation Regulations due to permitting her son to operate the cart while underage. 

Splatter ball themed guns were first addressed on March 7 when Peachtree City authorities posted on social media, notifying parents that “No one on the golf cart path wants to play Splat Ball with your teen.”

“We’ve been getting calls for the past two to three weeks of teenagers driving around, shooting those at people. I think they are powered by air, so at the very least, they’re annoying and leave small welts. But in this case, our offenders froze the splat balls, so it caused more harm,” Phillips said.

Recent social media trends are touted as the culprit for the activity where teens participate in splat ball wars for prolonged periods of time, harming bystanders and children. 

“It is against city ordinance to fire projectiles on city property or within city limits. When you use the splat balls offensively against someone else, more charges will be brought up. But in general, shooting them in the Battery Way Park is a violation of city ordinance,” Phillips said.

By Leah Banks

Leah Banks is a reporter for Fayette News. She graduated from Loyola University - New Orleans with a degree in Journalism in May 2019. As a reporter, she covers mainly Peachtree City and Tyrone areas. Leah has an interest in community outreach as well as local initiatives. In her free time, she enjoys reading mystery novels and listening to jazz music. Leah can be reached at leah@fayette-news.net.