A series of paintball gun attacks in the Loop and Streeterville left one man with bruises and swelling but no serious injuries. The incidents are part of a citywide pattern of similar drive-by paintball shootings that began in October.
Thursday’s shootings downtown were reported in quick succession beginning around 10:20 p.m. when a 33-year-old man was targeted as he walked on Illinois Street near McClurg Court, according to Chicago police.
The man said he suddenly realized he was being “struck all over [his] body by paintballs,” police said. He reported bruising and swelling to his left hand but refused medical attention, according to a CPD statement. He did not see who fired the paintballs.
Within the next 20 minutes, two more paintball shootings were reported in the Loop. Workers said four men fired paintballs at them from a black Nissan near Monroe and State streets. Around the same time, another person reported being shot by paintballs fired from a passing car near the Chicago Theatre, 175 North State.
In recent days, dozens of paintball attacks have been reported across the city. At least two CTA drivers have been struck while driving buses, according to police reports.
Most of the victims report no injuries or minor injuries. But a 29-year-old man was not so lucky in the Loop last month. He was struck in the right eye by paintballs fired at him from a car on the 700 block of South Michigan around 12:30 a.m. September 10. The shooters also struck another man who was with him, but that victim was hit in the chest and did not have any injuries, police said at the time.