According to new reports, unidentified assailants are driving around Arlington, Virginia shooting citizens with paintballs in broad daylight. This week, Pat and Lana Beard, a Clarendon couple, were even bruised and bloodied by an attack.
Arlington County, Virginia, police have stepped up patrols in areas including Crystal City and Clarendon, where six people have been hit by paintballs or pellets in four separate drive-by shootings in the past seven days.
“We were just walking and minding our own business, and I got hit first, right in my ear and face, right around my temple area … I got lucky with that it grazed me; it didn’t hit straight on. And then Pat got hit in the chest first, and then they just kept on coming,” said Lana Beard, of Arlington, who with her husband, Pat, were both left bleeding after being struck by 30 paintball rounds last Friday on South Eads Street near 15th Street in the Crystal City area.
“Apparently a lot of people think it sounds funny like, ‘Oh a drive-by paintball shooting.’ It can sound like a funny headline. But the cops actually took it seriously and since then, we’ve seen a lot more presence of the cops in the area, so it just feels good that they’re taking it seriously,” Lana Beard said.
Arlington police said that all patrol officers have been made aware of the four different paintball and pellet shootings that began March 16, with one person hit by pellets on South Eads Street and 12th Street. The suspect vehicle in that attack is a maroon SUV.
According to police, the paintball and pellet attacks may be linked to a social media trend daring people to fire at others in public places.