Students hit in paintball shooting off-campus

Police arrested one teenager Sunday evening after he shot a paintball gun from his window on Diamond Street.

Pellets from a paintball gun mark the wall of a house on Diamond Street near 16th. On Sunday afternoon, a teenager was arrested for shooting paintballs at passersby. ABBIE LEE | THE TEMPLE NEWS

A Temple student was shot by a teenager with a paintball gun on Diamond Street near 16th on Sunday afternoon, police said.

A Philadelphia Police spokeswoman wrote in an email that 22nd District police officers responded after two 21-year-old men were shot with paintballs from a house they were walking past.

Four male teenagers were removed from the house from where the paintballs were being shot. One of the teenagers was identified to be the shooter of the paintball gun, and taken into custody, wrote Charlie Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services in an email Sunday night. The other three teenagers were released.

According to Philadelphia Police, the 16-year-old teenager was charged with aggravated assault, possessing an instrument of crime, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

Melissa Mulholland, a sophomore advertising major, said she and her friends heard a noise and saw the paintballs hitting the wall of murals across the street of the minor’s residence.

“One of our friends was hit in the back of his ear, and he started running,” Mulholland said.

The rest of the group of students started running away from the area where the minor was shooting the paintballs, she said.

Mulholland said her friend then called police after he was shot with a paintball.

The shooter “was just some little kid,” said Elwood McGinnis, a junior computer science major and friend of the injured student.

The teenager was shooting the paintball gun from a second-story window of a house on Diamond Street, he said.

McGinnis added the friend who was shot with a paintball walked up to the resident’s door and wanted the person with the paintball gun to come out of the apartment.

“The kid opened the door and shot [at] him again,” McGinnis said.

Although the teenager opened fire again, the complainant was not hit again, Philadelphia Police said.

A TU Alert was sent to students around 3 p.m., warning of increased police activity in the area.

This was not the first paintball shooting in the area.

On Oct. 1, social media was active with students who said that they had been shot by paintballs around Berks Street between 18th and Gratz, which is seven blocks away from the paintball shooting on Sunday.

Hannah Pittel, a sophomore journalism major, said she was standing on the sidewalk near Berks Street and Gratz last month when she heard the screech of tires and saw a black car stopped in the street.

“The window rolled down and I just got shot,” Pittel said. “For a split second, I thought I was shot for real.”

Pittel said she was hit twice in the chest and once in the wrist, and had trouble breathing the next day because of the injuries. She did not report the paintball shooting to police because she saw other people that had posted about it on Facebook.

“It definitely didn’t make me feel too keen on the tension between locals and students,” Pittel said. “I didn’t really know how bad it was until the recent events with the [mob] and the paintball shooting and the clowns and everything.    I didn’t really know it was to that extent, that they would want to scare students like that.”

Kelly Brennan and Julie Christie can be reached at

Abbie Lee contributed reporting.

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