UPDATE: Thursday, April 21, 2022
Three individuals have been arrested in connection with this incident. Thursday morning police were able to identify and locate the vehicle used in the incident after receiving a description and obtaining video footage.
Additional victims have come forward since the first report alleging similar incidents.
The suspects have been detained and each are facing three charges of aggravated assault, making terroristic threats, and disorderly conduct. In addition, one of the individuals is also charged with committing or attempt to commit a felony in possession of a firearm.
BROOKINGS REGISTER COVERAGE:
BROOKINGS RADIO NEWS COVERAGE:
On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at approximately 9:02 p.m. the Brookings Police Department received a report of a male being struck by several unidentified projectiles in a parking lot on the 700 block of 22nd Ave S. Projectiles were discharged from what may be a late 90's or early 2000's model, red four-door vehicle. No injuries were reported.
It was later determined the male was shot with “Orbeez,” water absorbent polymer beads, also called "water beads, " or "gel beads" from a “splatter ball gun.” The incident, and similar incidents reported in surrounding cities, could be attributed to the "Orbeez Shooting Challenge" seen on TikTok, a social media app. It challenges individuals to simulate a drive-by shooting using an airsoft gun and gel pellets. To complete the challenge, participants record the assault and share the video on social media.
The Brookings Police Department reminds parents to have conversations with their children about the serious implications of this dangerous trend. All violations of city ordinance or state law regarding discharging of these weapons on city property or at unwilling participants will be prosecuted accordingly.
This incident is currently being investigated further.
If you have any further information regarding similar incidents, please call the Brookings Police Department at (605) 692-2113.
NOTE: This press release has been modified from a previous version to include additional information.