2 children hit in face by teens shooting splatter ball guns on cart path; 4 charged for discharging weapons

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The two kids — ages 8 and 10 — shot by Peachtree City teens with splat guns were hit in the face and chest. Photos/Peachtree City Police Facebook.
The two kids — ages 8 and 10 — shot by Peachtree City teens with splat guns were hit in the face and chest. Photos/Peachtree City Police Facebook.

CORRECTED VERSION — Four 17-year-old Peachtree City residents were charged after March 14 incidents during which two younger children had been hit with a splatter ball gun, one while riding his bicycle. Ages 8 and 10, the two younger kids were struck in the face and chest by shots fired from a second golf cart that left the scene, a police report said.

Police on March 14 at approximately 3:26 p.m. were dispatched to Battery Way boat docks in reference to teens shooting other kids with paint ball guns, according to police reports.

Upon arrival, officers said one group of teenagers were stopped by parents for their actions. The offenders on scene were charged accordingly. They were charged only with discharging the “splat” guns, not for the shots that hit the children.

A second golf cart was identified by witnesses as being responsible for the shots that struck the children and additional charges may be pursued pending an investigation, reports said.

Charged with discharging splat guns were Gaddon K. Nelson, Mason T. Kulpinski, Benjamin D. Kieffer and Tyler A. Lerouzes, all age 17 and all residents of Peachtree City, according to police reports. The four were not involved in shooting at the young children.

Commenting on the incident Peachtree City Police Department spokesman Donte Phillips the four were charged with misdemeanor discharging a firearm inside city limits, adding that other charges against currently unidentified teens are pending based on the outcome of the investigation.

Phillips said the two victims of the shooting who were struck in the face and chest were ages 8 and 10.

On its Facebook page, the police department had a message for parents.

“This has gotten out of hand. We continue to see teenagers utilizing the cart path while discharging (water bead gel) splat ball guns (Orbeez) at other people on the cart path, even at innocent bystanders. Now they are modifying the beads to be more painful,” the Facebook post said.

Referencing the March 14 incident, it was noted that, “… these can be very painful and can cause permanent injury. (One of the children shot) was riding his bicycle on the path when he was assaulted by a group of teens riding by and shooting these weapons at him.”

The police Facebook also noted, “The police department will be pursuing criminal charges on all persons caught discharging these weapons at other persons on city property. In some cases, it could result in felony charges and parents could also be liable for the actions of their kids. Even just shooting these on city property (not at another person) is a violation of city ordinance. Please take this seriously and ensure your kids are not involved.”

[CORRECTION — The earlier version of this story, and the headline, conflated the arrests of the four 17-year-old males with the shooting of the children. The four were not charged with shooting at the children. Instead the four were charged with the misdemeanors of illegally discharging the air-powered guns on city-owned property. Police are looking for a second group of teens on a second golf cart who shot at and hit the two children.]

11 COMMENTS

  1. Cyclist: Rolling coal? I researched this and I’ve actually seen this practice in my travels and so now I know (aware) – of this “political” environmental stunt.
    Hometown: “they (cycling community) don’t really work hard to earn the respect of other motorists,” WTH? Ok, perhaps hijacking a local narrative story, but c’mon man.

    I stand by my previous comment after Ben Nelm’s updated story correction; there’s something definitely wrong with both groups of teens involved here – that were seeking to intimidate and hurt others.

  2. Four 17 year old bullies hurting children. Despicable. They could be tried as adults at 17 with the charge of assault on minors. Bet they wouldn’t act so tough if they had to face jail inmates.

  3. Seventeen, stupid and damn lucky there were no severe injuries. I’m glad they were caught.

    The cycling community is watching a case in Waller, Texas involving a 16 year old driving daddy’s 4X4 F250. The young lad and his buddy had “rolled coal” on one group cyclists and was attempting to do the same on group ahead; however, in the process of purposely setting up for a close pass on the next group he hit six cyclists four required emergency care two of which were life flighted to the nearest hospital. The criminal case has yet to be tried. The civil case will most likely will “separate” a lot money from the parents.
    Teach your children (well).

    • Can’t say I’m real impressed with most of the cycling community. Running street stop signs, weaving amongst people on cart path, etc. As a whole they don’t really work hard to earn the respect of other motorists or properly share the road.

      Wishing those that you mention a full recovery out in Texas.

      • Well, I can’t say I’m real impressed with most of the driving community. Running traffic lights, driving impaired, distracted driving, excessive speed, unlawfully passing of school buses; so as you can see your line of logic is not tenable.

        Respect??? So you respect motorists who violate traffic codes or the 16 year old in Texas??

        What it comes down to is all lawful road users – bicycles and motor vehicles- have to obey applicable traffic code(s).

        Oh, and thank you for your concern and wishes.

        • Move to TX if you have no interest in the local news. This was a local story about kids getting shot and you hijacked the narrative.

          Why don’t you write your own story about Texan cyclists? There’s a thought.

          • Hijacked?? I was merely pointing out how another youngster who did something stupid (like the four teenagers charged) and how mommy and daddy are most likely going to pay for it. You, on the other hand, replied to my post and rambled-on about your lack of respect for cyclists.

          • Hey hutch, so sorry to hear about Lynn. Both the “phone” and I retired from the company in 2020. We need to get together soon.

  4. I’m reminded as I’m reading the above report, that in Ukraine, their young boys and men are engaged with the enemy and defending their homeland bravely, while locally here, we have young boys who like to pick their nose, scratch their behinds, and shoot at small innocent kids (half their age, no less) – with the intent on hurting them. Something is definitely wrong with these kids (seeking this type of fun) and yes, their parents should be held responsible too.