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Victim speaks out after being attacked by paintball guns in Tallahassee

WARNING: Some images may be disturbing
Posted at 6:42 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 18:42:56-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee man who was hit by paintball pellets while walking down the street says once he posted it online, he learned he wasn't the only one.

James Labelle was walking down the street to find something to eat last Thursday night when he says was hit by paintball pellets.

"I decided to venture further on Pensacola," said Labelle. "I didn't get far though."

Labelle says he was waiting for a car to turn at the intersection of White and Pensacola when he was struck.

"I saw the passenger and his driver laughing amongst each other when they pulled out a paintball gun and struck me three times before speeding off," Labelle said.

Labelle says he didn't feel the pain from the bullets at first. Instead, he was angry.

"I tried to pursue them as long as I could in order to identify their license plates," said Labelle. "But, what I gave to investigators, it did not come back."

Tallahassee Police says there have been nine incidents throughout the city involving paintball guns since April 10.

The department tells us this is not a joke and comes with consequences.

"Depending on what actually happens during their spree is what they'll be charged with," said Kevin Bradshaw, the public information officer for the Tallahassee Police Department. "If you shoot a person, it's battery. If you shoot a person and hurt them, it's felony battery."

While a paintball gun is not a real gun, it can still do serious damage to the body. Labelle posted about what happened on Facebook and received messages from others who claim to have been attacked as well.

"There was a woman with her kids attacked over off of Alabama Street," Labelle said. "There are so much better ways to express your boredom without terrifying the community."

Labelle has a message for the suspects. He says you have your whole life ahead of you, don't ruin it by hurting others.

Bradshaw says he believes there could be more people who have been shot at who have not called police.

Callers may remain anonymous by calling crime stoppers, (850) 574-8477.