GILBERT, Ariz. - A 14-year-old boy in Gilbert was hit by a splatter gun, but the quick-thinking boy managed to jot down the license plate, and reported it to police.
The incident happened on Feb. 23, at a residential neighborhood near Higley and Guadalupe Roads. The boy, Hunter Moon, was riding his scooter near his home when suddenly, he felt something hit him in the ribs.
Moon says a teenager driving by had fired a splatter gun at him.
"They're very dangerous. They can shoot the balls up to 50 miles per hour, leave welts, and they're very powerful," said Hunter. "They rolled down their window, just did a smirky smile, and waved."
Hunter jotted down the license plate number and hurried home to report it to police.
"I was angry, of course. You don't want your child to get hurt. He was, though he did not say it, upset and rattled. We did not know what was going on," said Hunter's mother, Nicole Moon.
Nicole says police told them they have had other calls like this one, and it is all part of a TikTok challenge that encourages kids to drive by and shoot 'splatter balls' at strangers.
"There is an indication that this incident could be related to a national social media challenge where the Orbeez water pellets are shot in a "drive-by" method," police said in a statement.
Gilbert police confirmed that several high school students in the area had been shot with an Orbeez electronic gun while walking home from school.
"I know the damage that these guns could do to kids, especially if it was an eye or a face," said Nicole.
The Moon family wants people to know that this is not OK, and they want other families to be aware of what could go on in their own neighborhoods.
"People should use their common sense," said Nicole. "Just because you see it on TikTok does not mean you should go out and do this. Are my actions going to have consequences? Hurt someone when I'm doing this?"
Hunter was not hurt in the incident. Meanwhile, police have tracked down the license plate to a teenager at an area high school.
The high school's resource officer is reportedly working with administration to find out if any other potential students are involved.
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