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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Airgun snipers; that's what two juveniles are being called after police say they hit a car passenger with their airsoft rifle.
Two boys were off playing on 7800 South and Highland Drive when, at around 4:30 p.m., they came up with a not-so-good idea: shooting their airsoft gun at passing cars.
A pellet went through an open car window, smacking a young girl on the forehead. She didn't need to go to the hospital, but she'll now have to face her friends with a massive welt above her eye.
Airsoft guns are replica firearms that fire plastic pellets by way of compressed gas or electric and/or spring-driven pistons. Depending on the mechanism driving the pellet, an airsoft gun can be operated manually or cycled by either compressed gas such as Green Gas (propane and silicone mix) or CO2, or by compressed air via a spring or an electric motor pulling a piston.
All these products are designed to be non-lethal and to provide realistic replicas.
Police don't believe the boys were being malicious.
"It's most unlikely that they were actually targeting this particular car," Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Gary Young said. "(They) probably didn't know the window was open, and it's a pretty tough shot with the car going 45 miles per hour."
The driver called police. Responding officers searched the area, and a police K9 found the two young men and their weapon hiding under a nearby bridge.
Fortunately, no other cars were hit. But this accident does come with a warning.
"It could have been more serious: the girl could have lost an eye; or (the pellet could have) hit another driver through an open window, and a head-on accident occurs."
Police hope this incident serves as a reminder for parents as well: If your kids have BB or pellet guns, sit down with them and make sure they know the potential dangers.