Oshkosh Police: Two children hurt in Orbeez incident

Oshkosh police are warning about their misuse after an apparent drive-by shooting injured 2 kids
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 9:01 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2022 at 4:08 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Oshkosh police say two children were injured this week by someone who fired an Orbeez gun out of a moving vehicle.

“Fortunately they were minor injuries, but it was a very scary occurrence for these children and there’s a great potential that it could have been more severe injuries if they would have hit them in the eye or a sensitive area,” Officer Kate Mann of the Oshkosh Police Department said.

Police are asking parents to explain to their children the consequences of shooting Orbeez at people or property.

Gel guns are plastic air soft facsimile weapons. They use water-filled projectiles. Police say some look like real guns.

“The results can be catastrophic,” police say.

Oshkosh Police say a social media trend encourages people to post videos of themselves shooting Orbeez at people.

“The safety of our children is our number one priority. We strongly urge parents to monitor their kids if they own one of these Orbeez guns and explain to them the consequences of shooting these guns at people or property,” reads a statement from the department.

A local ophthalmologist says he’s seen an increase in eye injuries caused by these guns.

Dr. Benjamin Phillips says in some cases they’ve had life-changing consequences.

“It can be just a very painful blunt sort of injury causing like a scratch on the cornea which heals in a few days all the way to the blunt force of the projectile causing a shockwave that passes through the eye and ruptures the retIna for instant blindness,” said Dr. Phillips of Baycare Clinic Eye Specialists.

Oshkosh police say they investigated 38 incidents involving gel guns this year resulting in four arrests on charges of Disorderly Conduct and Shooting an Airsoft Gun.

They’re still investigating the shooting earlier this week. Anyone with information that can help is asked to call Oshkosh police. We only know that the suspect’s car is red.

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Police are concerned about the misuse of gel guns and how similar some look to real guns

Winnebago County’s sheriff says his department hasn’t responded to any calls involving gel guns but he’s concerned with the growing popularity of the devices because they can look so real.

”Those types of weapons are really designed for a closed course, like a paintball course -- not to be used in the public, not to be used anywhere in any populated area. So, please use extreme caution, educate your children, we do not want this to end tragically,” Sheriff John Matz said.

As we’ve been reporting, police across the country have been raising concerns about the gel splatter guns. Green Bay and Grand Chute police have also been receiving reports of young people shooting the beads. Green Bay police made several arrests after facsimile weapons were used in a few incidents there.

Two children were injured in the latest incident in Oshkosh

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