WILTON MANORS, Fla. – It is a clear-cut case of aggravated battery, investigators say, after pedestrians were targeted in Wilton Manors by people in the back of a pick-up truck shooting at them with a paintball gun.
It happened in the 2200 block of busy Wilton Drive, home to lots of bars, restaurants and other businesses as the victims were walking in the area last Friday night around 11:30 p.m.
The victims told Wilton Manors police that they were simply walking when they heard a horn. They noticed a black, or dark-colored, standard cab pick-up truck with as many as 5 people in it. That’s when the people in the truck starting shooting at them with paintball guns.
Wilton Manors police are concerned and now have extra eyes out in the area.
Residents like Gary Metz are voicing unease, too.
“That’s a crime. I mean that’s assault. They are using a weapon to do so and it could take someone’s eye out. It could blind them.”
Other residents are suspect about the motive behind the odd act.
“This area being a huge LGBTQ community and stuff like that then it’s like, you know, we don’t know if it is a threat to us or is it just a threat as far as what is going on as far as voting,” Robert Johnson said.
The verdict is still out among detectives about the motive, but whatever it is, they want to find the people responsible.
Witnesses told investigators that the people in the truck were wearing full face masks as they fired paintball rounds and sped off.
Ramon Orijal said the situation frightens him.
“I’m really scared because we live in this area and its really safe all the time. We are always walking or coming shopping or having fun. I don’t know what happened,” he said.
Victims in the attack were injured, but not seriously. They suffered welts on their bodies and say they are traumatized by what happened.
Anyone with information is urged to call Wilton Manors police or Broward Crimestoppers at (954) 493-8477.