Child From “The Bridges” Allegedly Shot Child In “Seven Bridges.” Similar Incident Led To Felony Charge In Volusia County.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Sources connected to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office tell BocaNewsNow.com late Thursday that charges are likely to be filed against the middle school student who shot another student with an “Orbeez” gun Tuesday night.
As BocaNewsNow.com first reported Wednesday, a child from “The Bridges” was driven by a parent to the neighboring community of “Seven Bridges,” allegedly with an Orbeez gun — officially known as a “Gel Blaster” — in hand. That boy then used the gun to shoot at an acquaintance who lives in the Seven Bridges community. The alleged victim sustained multiple injuries. The two boys were not in the midst of a playdate. The shooter was allegedly roaming the Seven Bridges community, unsupervised, after dark. The victim was also roaming the community, unsupervised, after dark.
Law Enforcement sources say a parent of the victim initially declined to press charges, but has since reconsidered. Investigators are taking the shooting seriously. Florida prosecutors recently charged another child in a similar incident.
While Orbeez guns — officially known as “Gel Blasters” — are considered “toy guns,” they can cause significant injury. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office charged Kiagen Scorpio, 14, with “shooting a weapon/missile in a public or private building that could cause death or great bodily harm” in December. The charge, also known as Florida Statute 790.19, is a felony. Volusia County is just outside of Orlando.
Battery powered Orbeez guns, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, are “semi/full automatic and fire 200 feet per second. (The guns) fires water beads, gel balls or foam darts similar to paintballs.”
The child injured in the Volusia County incident sustained “welts” over her body. The victim in the Seven Bridges shooting, sources say, also sustained welts over his body.
The company that manufactures Orbeez, Spin Master, issued a statement following other, similar incidents. The company says it does not manufacture guns, and that Orbeez are not meant to be shot.
“Spin Master does not manufacture or sell gel guns or any guns that shoot Orbeez,” said a spokesperson. “Orbeez are designed for educational, creative, and sensory play and are not intended to be used as projectiles or inserted in mechanisms such as those cited.”
Parents are apparently purchasing “Gel Blaster” guns from Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers, then also providing their children with Orbeez gel balls to use as ammunition. It was not immediately clear if the parent or parents of the alleged shooter who lives in The Bridges will also face charges.
It is possible, sources say, that authorities and the State Attorney’s Office would seek an alternate resolution for the child — and his parent(s) — that does not involve the criminal court system.
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