Paintball gun attacks on the rise in Chicago

Three people were shot by paintball guns within a three-hour span in Chicago, according to police.

The first incident happened about 10 p.m. Tuesday night, police said. A 34-year-old man was riding his bicycle on the street in the 1800 block of West Hubbard Street, when someone in a passing red sedan fired a paintball gun at him. He was struck in the right arm and groin area, police said. The man refused treatment.

About a minute later, a man was walking his dog near Morgan Street and Monroe Street, when someone inside a passing white sedan fired a paintball gun at him, striking him multiple times, police said. He refused treatment.

The third incident happened about 1:20 a.m. early Wednesday morning, police said. A 61-year-old woman was standing in the 6100 block of South Ashland Avenue, when someone in a passing red SUV fired a paintball gun at her, striking her in her hand, police said. She also refused treatment.

On Sept. 10, two men were shot by paintballs in the 700 block of South Michigan Avenue in the South Loop. A 29-year-old was shot in his eye and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in fair condition, police said. The second man was struck in the chest but not injured.

Now, a Chicago doctor at UI Health is warning people to be alert.


“Just recently, it’s to the point where we’re telling people to be safe when they walk home,” said Dr. Chris Colbert.

He says UI Health has recently seen patients with paintball-related injuries caused by these types of attacks.

“This has been something that is noted not only at UI Health, but also neighboring hospitals as well. There have been recorded incidences of significant injuries secondary to paintball attacks,” Dr. Colbert said.

While the extent of the victim's injuries are unclear, Dr. Colbert says paintballs can travel at speeds of180 to 200 mph and can cause significant damage.

“That can range from just simple abrasions on the skin, to significant ocular injuries,” he said.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.