DRAPER, Utah (ABC4) – A new social media prank requiring kids to shoot gel guns at strangers is now putting kids in dangerous life or death situations.
Draper Police say there have been several incidents over the past two weeks involving kids shooting unsuspecting people with gel guns due to the “Orbeez Challenge” on TikTok.
On March 4, a group of “juveniles” were driving around in the Draper Peaks parking lot and were shooting gel balls at random people, police say. People in two cars blocked the juveniles in, and a man pointed a handgun at a juvenile’s head while demanding the juvenile to hand over the gun, a press release states.
A woman at the scene punched one of the juveniles repeatedly in the head. When the gel gun was handed over, the man put his gun away and the woman hit and damaged the juvenile’s car with the gel gun, police say.
Both the man and woman have not been identified and officers have not located any video or recordings of the alleged incident.
Two more incidents related to the same challenge occurred on March 15 police say.
In one of the incidents, two male suspects entered Oak Wood Fire Kitchen through the back door, wearing airsoft style masks, surprising people in the restaurant, a press release states.
Once the suspects started shooting people, patrons realized the suspects were not shooting real guns.
On March 16, a woman was walking her dogs at the Orson Smith Trailhead and believed she was being shot by juveniles with a pellet gun. When the suspects were located, police found that the juveniles were using a gel gun.
Police say a total of six juveniles were referred to court for that incident.
Another man, later that evening, was shot with a gel gun in a grocery store parking lot.
Detectives with the Draper Police Department say they are investigating all of these cases.
Police also say there is a zero-tolerance stance on these types of incidents and will “hold suspects accountable for their unlawful behavior.”
The Department is pleading with parents for help with speaking to their kids about the dangers of pranks and challenges like these.