PALO ALTO, Calif – Two unknown young adult male suspects are wanted for shooting a paintball gun from a moving vehicle at five pedestrians. Palo Alto Police reported three separate assaults in which a couple in their 70’s, and two female victims in their 40’s were struck by paint balls, causing minor injuries. According to Lt. Zach Perron, “We are still looking for the vehicle that was described as a gold sedan with a rounded body.”
Following the brief attack by the suspects, the elderly victims were unable to describe even a partial license plate number, type of car or the appearance of their assailants. The attack was so sudden that the couple said they only worried about being hit and protecting each other. According to police, “An unknown suspect inside the vehicle fired 12 to 14 green paintballs at the couple, striking the man once in his hip and causing pain.”
Within minutes of the first attack, three more people reported being shot at, with one woman being struck in the hand, arm, and chest by the suspect(s), and another hit on her hand. Her husband was with her, but not hit. At about 8:30 p.m., the victims called the Palo Alto Police 9-1-1 dispatch center to report being struck with paintballs shot from a moving vehicle. Because of the time of night it was difficult for the victims to identify their attackers.
One female victim said that she heard an adult male voice cheerfully taunting them while they were stopped near the corner waiting for the street signal in order to cross the road.
The first couple was attacked near intersection of Newell Road and Dana Avenue, with the second victim struck near Parkinson Avenue, and the third shooting at the 700 block of Melville Avenue.
“The victims from Melville Avenue reported that the suspect vehicle was a gold-colored sedan with a rounded body type that looked to be about 15 years old,” Perron said. “It was good that they picked up the phone and called us right away.” But despite quick efforts by police to try and locate the suspects, they were able to flee from the scene and still remain at large.
Perron said, “The good news is nobody was hurt.” There is no reason that anyone would think these suspects would want to actually hurt anyone, but were more likely encouraging each other to shoot at unassuming victims in a game of cat and mouse. According to the police department there is no known gang activity in the area.
A paintball can travel at different velocities when shot from a .50 Cal Paintball Gun. Different guns can fire up to 15 paint balls or more without having to reload. According to police, “Charges for suspects in paintball assault cases could range from misdemeanor vandalism (for property that is struck) and misdemeanor battery (for a person who is struck without serious injury), to felony assault with a deadly weapon (for a person who is struck and seriously injured; for example, if a paintball were to strike a victim in an eye).”
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the police 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through a free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.