drive by paintball toronto

Drive-by paintball shootings are now a thing in Toronto

With a rash of carjackings, a noticeable rise in violence on public transit, and dangerously inadequate cycling infrastructure, it's starting to feel like a dangerous time to move around Toronto.

On top of all those challenges, drivers and pedestrians now have a new safety issue to be on the lookout for; drive-by paintball shootings.

The Toronto Police Service is seeking the public's assistance in identifying the suspects behind several incidents of paintballs shot from a vehicle at passersby.

Multiple reports of paintball attacks came in between Fri. June 3 and Mon. June 6 in the Lake Shore Boulevard West and Eighth Street area.

Police claim that "the suspect vehicles were identified as white and black coloured SUVs" and that after the shootings, "the vehicles and their occupants fled the area in an unknown direction."

It appears that cops don't have much information beyond the area and general description of the suspect vehicles and are asking for the public's help in identifying the paintball shooters.

"Investigators are appealing for any witnesses, motorists with dash cam footage to come forward and contact police."

Paintballs are fired from gas-powered guns (that do not qualify as firearms under Canadian law), the projectiles designed to break apart on impact. They leave a messy splat and are rarely capable of breaking skin through clothing, but that doesn't mean they're entirely safe.

Any paintball arena requires participants to wear safety gear, specifically eye protection, as eye injuries are by far the most common associated with the sport.

It's safe to say that most pedestrians aren't walking around the street wearing goggles, and anyone caught on the wrong side of a paintball barrel without sufficient safety gear is at risk of serious injury.

Even if victims are walking away uninjured, the shock, inconvenience, and possible mental trauma of being shot up with colourful propylene glycol goop mean these assaults should be taken very seriously.

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert

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