The Chula Vista Police Department seeks to raise awareness after another person was victimized this past weekend by a TikTok challenge that encourages youth to shoot others with toy guns.
The social media trend began as a challenge where perpetrators shoot random victims with BB guns, airsoft guns, by air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action. The projectiles can be made out of hard plastic, metal, or gel.
According to the Chula Vista Police Department, the TikTok Challenge began with gell-filled projectiles though incidents have evoled to involve traditional airsoft guns or BB guns.
Police have received at least 10 reports of these incidents, including a victim who sustained a minor injury. There have been over 40 calls in the last year from people witnessing these attacks.
“With the nature of these ‘challenges’, victims could be seriously hurt with an ill-placed shot,” a CVPD statement reads.
According to the CVPD, perpetrators of this challenge may be charged with a felony crime, depending on the devices used, when arrested by police.
“Some of the "guns" used in these incidents look very similar to real firearms. There have been documented crime reports where some participating in the challenge pointed a replica firearm at someone, who in response brandished a real firearm,” the CVPD said.
Some of the reported incidents have resulted in traffic accidents with serious injuries.
“This could be very dangerous for everyone involved. The Chula Vista Police Department would like to discourage anyone from participating in this event or anything similar,” the CVPD said.
The department reminds the public that bringing these devices on school property is a crime, and urges parents to remind their children that using airsoft guns, BB guns, or replica mock guns of any kind to shoot projectiles could result in criminal charges.