LEVITTOWN, NY — Police are warning about a dangerous new social media challenge on TikTok. They say teens are shooting random people with pellet guns.
Law enforcement officials on Long Island said the assaults with so-called airsoft pellets are not harmless pranks, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Thursday.
A 911 call came from the intersection of Shotgun Lane and Gun Lane in Levittown.
“We were inside, and then two gentlemen were walking up and down the street like they usually do on their morning walk, when a car just pulled up and shot at them,” Ivinia Nietl said. “Because it was a pellet gun, there was no real sound of a gun, but everybody here was startled.”
Nietl’s doorbell camera captured the crime. As two neighbors took their daily walk, a dark-colored car slowed down and a passenger fired a pellet gun at the random strangers. The victims were hit in the shoulder and arm with airsoft pellets.
“The cops were circling maybe like 15 minutes after I saw them walk by,” Vijai Hiralall told CBS2.
Police said there were four such cases in Nassau County and two in Suffolk County. They may all be part of a nationwide pellet gun challenge on TikTok.
“This challenge, it’s criminal and these kids that are out there doing it, whether they’re 16, 17, they will be arrested,” Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
Another incident in North Babylon was caught on surveillance. As two friends crossed Deer Park Avenue, a vehicle passed by and the victims flinched. It’s believed the same car was spotted a short time later at the Tanger Outlet in Deer Park where a 12-year-old was hit in the face with a plastic pellet and had to be taken to the hospital.
“She got struck in the eye. Thank the lord that she doesn’t have any serious physical injuries at this time,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said.
Police said they are working together to determine if the pellet gun shootings in both counties were related. Tips recently came in to Crime Stoppers, they said.
“It’s not funny at all. It’s completely dangerous,” one shopper said.
“I just don’t get it,” said another.
“I would be really scared, I wouldn’t know what to do,” another shopper said.
“We definitely have to be more vigilant in what our children are doing,” said another.
Police believe they are looking for a Hyundai Elantra occupied by three or four males. No one has been seriously injured in the shootings. Police said the pellets used have been nonmetallic.