MERIDIAN, Idaho — The guns are toys, but the consequences can be very real, according to the Meridian Police Department (MPD).
MPD sent out a press release in late March about the "significant increase in reports of toy guns such as splat guns and airsoft guns being used on pedestrians and pets in the community."
The Paramount subdivision is a few blocks from the Chinden Boulevard and Eagle Road intersection. Teenagers are regularly driving through the neighborhood and shooting people with Orbeez and plastic bb's in prank drive-by shootings, according to multiple neighbors.
"I've lived here for, like, seven years. This is like the craziest thing I've heard of happening here," Cienna Mickelsen said. "If it were only a few instances, I'd be like, 'OK, it's a few idiot kids.' I think with how much they've been doing it and how much people are talking about it, it's more than just kids being dumb."
Someone in a red Chevy Trailblazer shot a woman jogging on May 10th, according to subdivision resident Brain Heffley. A separate neighbor, Madison Henning, sent clips of her home security footage from May 10th to KTVB. The footage appears to capture a red Chevy Trailblazer in the same neighborhood shooting Orbeez or plastic bb's out of the vehicle.
"I think it's just progressively gotten worse and worse," Mickelsen said. "We moved here so it would be a chill area. But, kids are running amok. We're close to a high school, so I guess you can kind of expect it to happen, but this is extreme."
People are looking to press charges, according to Meridian Police. Charges for one of these prank drive-by shootings can range from misdemeanor battery to felony injury to a child.
"March 17, 2022: as a family walked out of a restaurant, their four-year-old child was struck by water pellets from a splat gun shot out of the vehicle window by a group of juveniles," Meridian Police wrote in the press release. "It is critical that parents talk with their children about the proper use of these toys and the potential consequences of misuse."
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