ST. LOUIS — Police believe several people riding in a red BMW with heavily tinted windows are responsible for multiple paintball attacks in the St. Louis area – including one that left a man with an eye injury and another involving a homeless man.
St. Louis city police announced Tuesday one suspect was arrested in the incidents and assault charges are pending. Police continue to search for more suspects in the case.
The investigation into the shootings started Saturday in St. Louis County.
Manchester police said two men bought a paintball gun at Academy Sports March 12 and opened fire on multiple cars in the parking lot.
“They continued their target practice at additional vehicles as they fled south on 141,” according to the police department’s Facebook page.
Manchester Police Chief Scott Will called the incidents nothing more than a headache.
“They did it for no other reason than to cause someone else a problem. They weren't stealing anything. They weren't. it was just to be silly and there's no point in that," said Will.
St. Louis police sources told 5 On Your Side a vehicle matching the description was involved in at least five attacks on people in a four-hour span throughout the city Saturday, too.
Police have not publicly released a photo of the suspected vehicle.
The sources said the first report came in at 5:15 p.m. at the Schnucks parking lot along the 3400 block of South Grand Avenue in south city. The victim told police he and his grandmother were walking into Schnucks when an unknown person in a red car fired a paintball gun at them, striking him in his eye. Police sources said the victim’s eye was swollen shut at the hospital when they arrived.
Then, about two hours later at 7:21 p.m., police found an 18-year-old man lying on the floor of a lobby inside a Central West End building along the 4100 block of Lindell Boulevard with paint on his clothing. He said four men in a red car began shooting at him with a paintball gun.
About 40 minutes after that at 8 p.m., a 64-year-old man told police he was at a gas station in the 3700 block of North Grand Avenue in the Fairgrounds neighborhood when two men came in and shot him with a paintball gun and left.
Then, just before 9 p.m., another victim, a homeless man, told police he was shot with a paintball gun several times but was not injured while he was walking in the 1200 block of North 13th Street.
On Sunday, a 15-year-old girl told police she was at a business along with two 17-year-old boys and a 25-year-old woman in the 4000 block of Lindell Boulevard at 5:25 p.m. when a woman and two men came in.
One of the men was carrying a black paintball gun under his arm, police said. The teenage girl said she confronted them, asking if they were the ones who shot at her the day before at the same location, according to police sources.
The woman told her it probably was them and that they were just doing it for "fun and games," before she tried to hit the victim in the face. The suspects and the victims started fighting, but the suspected paintball attackers left in an older model grey Chevrolet Tahoe before police arrived, according to the sources.
Now, police in both cities are using surveillance video and pictures to get the crime solved.
“It's just an aggravation for somebody that's not necessary," Will said.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the Manchester Police Department 636-227-1410.