Arlington County, Virginia, police have intensified patrols in the areas of Crystal City and Clarendon, in which six people were injured by pellets or paintballs during four drive-by shoots over the last seven days.
“We were walking around doing our thing when I was struck first, in my ear, and my face just around my temples … It was a bit painful, but I was lucky that it hit me and didn’t go right onto. Then Pat was struck with the chest and it just kept going,” said Lana Beard from Arlington who, along with her husband Pat both were left bleeding from being hit by 30 paintballs last Friday, on South Eads Street near 15th Street in the Crystal City area.
“Apparently most people believe it’s funny, such as ‘Oh, it was a drive-by shooting. It might be a humorous headline. But the police actually took it seriously , and after that, I’ve noticed an increase in the presence of the police around the area, so it’s a relief to know that they’re serious about it,” Lana Beard said.
Arlington police stated that all officers on patrol are aware of four shoots using pellets and paintballs. The shootings began on March 16, and saw one person being hit by pellets at South Eads Street and 12th Street. The vehicle that was involved in the incident is a maroon SUV.
The next night, three blocks away from the Beards were struck with paintballs. within 90 minutes, two more individuals were also hit with paintballs in the same spot on South Eads Street. Police have issued a call for a silver-colored model four-door car.
“It’s a serious situation because had Lana been hit in the eye, she could have lost her eye,” Pat Beard said, noting that two young children were in the vicinity when the couple were sprayed by shooters in the vehicle that passed by. “Had those children been hit, that could have been horrible.”
In the evening of Monday within the Clarendon area the Clarendon area, a man who was walking along Washington Boulevard at N. Highland Street was struck by pellets. Police believe the shots could be from a light or gray blue mini-SUV.
Similar attacks in other states over the recent years have been associated with social media issues where the attack is recorded in video and then posted online.
“The night that it happened, we researched it a little bit to see just how common this was; and we had seen that it was a social media trend, and we’re not sure it’s related to that … We did try to search the hashtags to see if we could find the video, if anybody had posted it, of them hitting us, but we haven’t found anything,” Lana Beard said.
“This is a serious thing, and people need to know that it’s not funny,” Pat Beard said.
Hi, I am Margaret J. Garcia. Involved in paintball industry for around 10 years now. Loved to share my experience, expert opinion here in Paintball Magazine.