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Teen, police caution about gel pellet gun use after multiple recent issues

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SOUTH JORDAN — It may be a child's toy, but it can lead to some very adult consequences.

Orbeez gel pellet guns are in the crosshairs of South Jordan police, who say the pellets are being fired off in public places and causing some real problems.

The department said in a Facebook post Thursday that it had experienced "multiple issues" recently, including Orbeez gun fights and random people being shot by Orbeez.

The post said officers would be increasing patrols, in the area of The District in particular, and noted an ordinance restricting the use of air guns and Orbeez gel pellet guns, stating that those gun users could be held criminally or civilly liable.

"Some of these incidents are dispatched as priority 1 emergencies as they look like a fight or robbery," the post stated. "If you have kids who frequent this area, please talk to them about the dangers with this type of behavior."

Gel pellet strikes can leave damage to property and to people.

A 15-year-old girl who did not want to be identified over safety fears told KSL-TV she was part of a group Saturday night at Daybreak that was targeted by shooters using gel pellet guns.

She said at around 10 p.m., east of the lake area, she was with a group of roughly 15 teens that suddenly came under fire from the occupants of a red car.

"The kids just came by and started shooting at us," the girl said. "Once everybody started getting hurt and stuff, they drove off super fast."

The teen said multiple friends were shot with the pellets during the encounter. She said one friend was shot in the eye and had to go to the hospital.

Even almost a week later, she said the friend was still experiencing side effects.

"I just think people just do it for fun to get a reaction out of people, but it's not funny because once somebody gets hurt, it could ruin their life," she said.

The teen said she had been nervous to go out in public since the shooting.

"I'm like paranoid about it and I just like don't know when something could happen," she said.

The girl's family said police were working on some leads related to the description of the vehicle.

She said she hoped those responsible would reconsider their actions.

"Rather than going around and shooting other teenagers for fun, like, you could do anything else," the teen said.

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