Massachusetts

3 Minors Face Serious Charges After Shooting Middle Schoolers With Gel Pellets

Police in Auburn, Massachusetts, say three juvenile suspects each face nine counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after shooting middle school students with Orbeez gel pellets

Auburn Police Department

Three juveniles are facing serious charges after police say they shot Orbeez gel pellets at middle school students as they walked home from their school bus Wednesday in Auburn, Massachusetts.

Those charged in the incident will each face nine counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, the Auburn Police Department said in a Facebook post.

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Parents of multiple Auburn Middle School students called police around 3 p.m., reporting that their children were hit by Orbeez on Briarcliff Drive and Bryn Mawr Avenue.

Orbeez, which are small, circular water gel pellets, can be shot from air-powered toy guns. They are sold at stores like Walmart and are marketed toward children.

Police responded and began looking for a white sedan of a specific make and model, described by the children who were hit.

At Auburn High School, police discovered a car matching the description. Authorities said they found an Orbeez gel gun inside, with orange gel balls that matched the ones found at the scene of one of the incidents.

Authorities said that the three suspects' parents went to the police station and were informed about the criminal charges. Auburn's superintendent of schools was also notified.

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Police did not name the minors being charged in the incident.

Other police departments have warned about shootings with gel pellet guns. The Concord Police Department said in March that three people were hit as part of an "Orbeez Challenge" TikTok trend. The following month, police in Malden said the water beads "can lead to criminal charges, as serious as felony," if fired at people or property.

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