Students targeted in drive-by paintball attack at Western Michigan University

Posted at 8:19 PM, Feb 22, 2019

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Multiple Western Michigan University students reported being the victims of a drive-by paintball shooting Thursday night, according to WXMI.

Austin Abdall, a sophomore at WMU said he was hanging out on his front porch with roommate and friends when a vehicle sped down the road and fired paintballs at them.

“You can see a couple of bullets,” Abdall said. “A couple of us got hit. I got hit in the leg but I was wearing pants.”

Minutes later the vehicle returned, but no more shots were fired, he said. It stopped at the red light at the end of their block, a police cruiser two cars behind it.

“We waved the cop and he’s like ‘Yeah we’ll get him right now,’” Abdall said. “He flashed his lights and drove down the street.”

Police said they pulled over a white SUV but couldn’t locate the paintball gun or any ammunition. However, police did make contact with all the people in the vehicle.

“The driver was cited for not having a valid license,” said Executive Lt. Craig Habel of the Kalamazoo Dept. of Public Safety. “One of the passengers was arrested on [an] unrelated warrant.”

While in the area that night, police were approached by other victims that night. Another Western Michigan student said he had been hit in the face while grilling in front of his home.

“You could do some major damage with the speed that is being propelled,” Lt. Habel said.  “When it smashes on someone’s skin, even their face, at worse, could do a lot of damage.”

Police are investigating the incident, and the suspect or suspects, if found, could face time in prison.

“If we can determine who did this, they’ll be charged with a four-year felony, which is a felonious assault,” Lt. Habel said.