According to a spokesperson for the Wilmington Police Department, out of 25 gun calls last week, 10 involved paint ball guns.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -
Police in Wilmington are issuing a warning to the public, but not the kind you may expect. Investigators say they've seen a major boost in paint ball guns being fired illegally in the city.
According to a spokesperson for the Wilmington Police Department, out of 25 gun calls last week, 10 involved paint ball guns. That number is well above the average.
Officer P.D. Schwarz with WPD says it may seem like a minor issue, but it's truly becoming a major threat to public safety.
According to Schwarz, illegal paintball gun discharge is a city wide problem. He said they've had calls on the south side of town, the north side of town, and everywhere in between. In one instance, on Princess Place Drive, a man was hospitalized after getting hit in the face, according to Schwarz.
Schwarz explained that owning a paintball gun is legal, but the city ordinance does not allow you to fire the guns inside city limits.
With nearly a dozen calls in just one week, police are concerned these paintball attacks may be taking them away from their other police work.
Schwarz said they haven't made any arrests at this point, but they do believe the suspects are young men who know each other.
He said paintball guns may seem fun and harmless; but they actually can inflict serious injury and property damage.
"It's a drain on our resources, we don't want to see kids or people get hurt. Obviously these things are fired under compressed air so it does cause injury," Schwarz said. "It may be all out of fun, but all it takes is that one ball that goes out that causes someone to get seriously injured."
Injury to personal property can be charged for any damage caused by the use of a paintball gun and is considered a misdemeanor.
If you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, call police right away.