Federal Way police field multiple reports of drive-by shootings with toy guns

Several cases involve ‘Orbeez’ guns that shoot gel balls.

Following a recent string of toy gun and pellet gun drive-by shootings, Federal Way police believe they’re possibly linked.

According to case reports, on four separate occasions spanning from May 13 to May 15, what appeared to be juveniles shot at civilians walking in the street once with a pellet gun, and then on three other occasions with a toy gun shooting gel balls, which one of the victims described as an “Orbeez” toy gun. One case report from May 14 stated that the reported vehicle involved was stolen and was involved in five different gel gun shootings, but police did not indicate when those occurred.

“For the Orbeez cases, I’m not sure if they are linked or not, but it is likely they are due to the proximity of each case,” Federal Way Police Department Cmdr. Kyle Buchanan said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any license plate numbers or solid suspect descriptions to follow up on.”

According to the first case report detailing these occurrences, the incidents began at about 6 a.m. May 13. A 27-year-old male reported that in the 2000 block of South 320th Street while walking on the sidewalk, several juveniles in a grey Kia sedan and a blue Honda sedan drove toward him. He said the juveniles then shot at him multiple times with a pellet gun, striking him in the face. The victim reported that the pellets left multiple red welts on his face. According to the case report, the vehicles fled eastbound toward Interstate 5, and the victim did not seek treatment or remain on the scene for in-person contact. The case was declared inactive due to exhausted leads.

According to the case report, the second incident occurred at about 3:45 p.m. May 14. A 19-year-old male said he was selling pest control door-to-door in the 3300 block of 28th Avenue SW when a gray sedan approached him with three juveniles inside. He said the driver then exited the vehicle and began firing at him with the gel gun. The victim said he turned his back and then was shot in the back. The victim did not report any injuries, but said that he felt pain when hit.

The victim said he did not know how many times he got hit, but it felt like the person had unloaded an entire magazine on his back. The victim said he tried to run away, but the vehicle drove toward him, then took a turn at a high rate of speed. The victim gave the officers a license plate number, which belonged to a stolen Subaru Impreza. The case was declared inactive due to exhausted leads.

According to the case report, there have been at least five different reports of the Subaru Impreza driving by and shooting people with Orbeez gel BBs. The report said all victims contacted stated they were afraid when the suspect pointed the toy at them, but they did not feel pain and did not want to press charges.

The third incident occurred at about 6:40 p.m. May 14 at a park-and-ride at SW 344th Street and 21st Avenue SW. The victim was a 16-year-old juvenile male. This victim stated he was walking home from Fred Meyer when a dark blue SUV driven by juveniles began to follow him and subsequently shot at him with a toy gel gun, hitting him with gel BBs. The victim said that when he told the suspects to stop, they turned around, exited the vehicle, and continued shooting. Once the suspects re-entered their vehicle, the victim said they then drove toward him as if they were going to hit him with the vehicle and then threw a food platter at him. The case was declared inactive.

The fourth incident occurred at about 8 p.m. May 15. According to the case report, this victim was a 50-year-old male. This incident occurred on SW 320th Street and SW 323rd Street. The victim stated that while walking home, a gray Subaru sedan shot at him with a gel gun. He described the weapon as an “Orbeez” blaster, a toy gun. The suspect reported significant pain from the incident. The case was declared inactive.

“This appears to be a continuation from previous days of juvenile suspects shooting random victims with ‘Orbeez’ toy gel blasters,” the case report said.