IMPD investigating ‘paintball wars’ after homes and cars are caught in crossfire

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Paintball wars have broken out on the city’s northwest side, with homes and cars getting caught in the crossfire.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says it’s all part of a social media challenge. They’re afraid someone could be badly hurt or even killed.

Michael Turman says there’s no other way to paint this picture. He believes the paintball wars being waged in some Indy neighborhoods are downright dangerous.

"With them doing this in a neighborhood that is known for shooting people and then shooting at people’s house and cars. I mean no, they can’t distinguish those apart," Turman said.

Turman lives around 41st and Graceland. It's where one of the paintball wars erupted.

"We’ve had calls from people in the community concerned with the individuals going up and down the street firing or shooting at each other; paintballs with damage to their property and innocent people getting struck by these paintballs," IMPD Northwest District Commander Lorenzo Lewis said.

The most recent incident happened on Monday, in Turman's neighborhood.

"It was total chaos right here in the middle of the street and it was people in black hoodies. They were walking. All you could see was the gun to their sides and walking down the street and firing in the air," Turman said.

"Last week, I was alerted by IMPD that there was a Facebook challenge and social media challenge about a paintball war," said Indy Ten Point Board President Reverend Charles Harrison.

Harrison says the challenge on the surface may seem innocent but can have unintended consequences. Reverend Charles Harrison says it could escalate into gun violence.

Police say they’ve already confiscated some paintball guns and they’re hoping to put a stop to it.

"We’re hoping that the actions that we are doing and the response we have done to this will deter future activity," Commander Lewis said.

"Somebody is going to try and protect their family not knowing that it is paint or paint guns. Somebody is going to get hurt," Turman said.

Indy Ten Point is currently looking for a safe place for these young people to play paintball.

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