COUNCIL GROVE, Kan. (KSNT) — Council Grove is the latest Kansas town to see someone hurt by a dangerous TikTok challenge, according to local police.
The Council Grove Police Department said Monday that it took a minor into custody for an aggravated battery incident over the weekend. Officers went around 8 p.m. Saturday to a home near Donnon Street and South 11th Street for a report of a drive-by shooting. After investigating, they learned a minor fired an Orbeez gel bead gun into a nearby home multiple times, striking a child.
The officers arrested the minor as a result of the Orbeez shooting incident, according to the Council Grove Police Department. The department also said it has seen the “Orbeez Challenge” trending on social media and warned parents to talk with their children if they have one of the water bead guns to make sure they don’t use them on unsuspecting people.
Although the Orbeez guns are intended as toys, police said they can still cause injuries, and Council Grove is not the only Kansas town to see shooting incidents with them. El Dorado police reported the weekend of April 9 that they investigated multiple reports of someone driving around and shooting people with an Orbeez gun. Some of the people hit there were left with welts from the beads.
On Monday, April 11, Newton High School also went into lockdown after a student was spotted with what appeared to be a firearm. When police later arrived and spoke with the suspect, they learned it was actually a water bead gun. The incident affirmed what a Dodge City police officer said about the “Orbeez Challenge.”
“To you or to the person in the car, it looks like an Orbeez gun, but somebody in another car might see, and because of the shading or the time of day, it may not identify it as a toy, and it may appear as something very real,” said Dodge City Police Seargent Leslie Lima.
Aside from Orbeez guns, other toy guns have been used in recent drive-by incidents. A paintball drive-by shooting in a Topeka parking lot hit an 18-year-old in the eye, seriously hurting him. An ambulance took him to a Kansas City hospital for treatment, and the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office said it arrested a 16-year-old for the shooting.