17-year-old found shooting Orbeez gel balls at students

Federal Way police are unaware of any connection between several cases involving the toy guns.

In pursuit of a soda, a Thomas Jefferson High School student was unexpectedly hit in the face by a barrage of water gel balls shot from a toy gun.

After The Mirror’s previous reporting of a string of “Orbeez” shootings carried out by juveniles in mid-May in Federal Way, there was a similar occurrence when at about 9:11 a.m. June 3, a juvenile student was caught on camera shooting another student’s vehicle with an Orbeez toy gun on the TJHS campus.

Additionally, the toy gun was found in a vehicle a student was driving, and an involved student was found carrying numerous sealed marijuana products, and it was believed that he intended to sell and distribute the products.

Federal Way Police Cmdr. Kyle Buchanan said the report did not state any connection to the four previous Orbeez and BB gun shootings May 13-15, and he was unaware of any connection between the cases. No suspects in those cases have been identified.

According to a police report taken by the TJHS school resource officer, a female student reported that while driving in her car alone, she observed a male 15-year-old classmate running away from a convenience store located near a half-mile from TJHS. She said she realized he was running because he was being followed by a dark-colored SUV containing another student shooting at him with an Orbeez toy gun. The female said she then picked up the 15-year-old male classmate who said he was shot in the face with the gel balls near the corner of his nose and eye.

The female student said following the incident, she went to park her vehicle in the student lot, and the same student who had shot the 15-year-old then began to shoot her vehicle with the toy gun. The female student said she was able to reverse and park on the other side of the student lot, and then report the incidents to the administration.

According to the report, surveillance footage showed a dark grey Jeep Grand Cherokee backing into a parking stall in the student lot at around 9:12 a.m. Roughly one minute later, another vehicle begins to pull into a nearby parking space, but quickly reverses and relocates. The report said a closer examination of the footage showed an individual on the rear driver’s side of the Jeep aiming an Orbeez gun out of the window at the other vehicle. The report said four juvenile males exited the Jeep and entered the building. The administration at TJHS identified one of the occupants as a 17-year-old male. He was contacted by the administration and admitted to owning the Orbeez gun and using it at a nearby convenience store and in the student parking lot. Although no formal charges were administered, police informed the perpetrator of the Orbeez shooting that he had assaulted another student and nearly missed his eye, which could have possibly caused significant injury.

Despite not finding any weapons, the report said that police did find a brown bag with marijuana products. The driver of the Jeep was age 15, whose parents arrived at the school to retrieve the keys as the 15-year-old was not licensed to be driving a vehicle. Upon inspecting the Jeep, the 15-year-old driver was operating, police found a large Orbeez toy gun.

The report said that the school administration would be disciplining the 17-year-old for bringing the toy gun to school and shooting people with it, and he would be disciplined for the marijuana products he brought to school. The 15-year-old driving the Jeep would also be disciplined for operating a vehicle on campus without a license.