PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Some trigger-happy paintballers took aim at people sitting on their porches in Southwest Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, and the victims may have been intentionally targeted.
Just before 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 6, Southwest Philadelphia Police officers responded to the 5000 block of Woodland Avenue for a report of an assault. Officers were informed by three victims that they were struck by paintballs while sitting on their porch. According to the victims, the suspects stopped in front of the residence in a dark colored Infiniti sedan and began firing a paintball gun at them. Two of the three victims were struck.
“They had welts on their bodies, showing visible signs of injuries," Southwest Detectives Lt. John Walker said.
The victims believe they may have been intentionally targeted because they are transgender. Police say someone threw a firecracker at them on July 4.
Minutes before the Woodland Avenue incident, near 42nd and Baltimore, another report was made of paintball shots fired. No one was hit. Neighbors say another transgender couple lives on this block.
During an investigation, police learned that two other individuals on the block were struck by paintballs but did not want any police involvement.
Police have described the suspects as four black men driving a silver Infiniti sedan with silver window trim bearing a partial Pennsylvania license plate with “KJ.” The men were armed with a paintball gun, possibly black in color.
Police are now searching for the culprits and promising the City's Commission on Human Relations will respond in the coming days.
"They should have the right to sit on their porch and the right to walk around his neighborhood freely without feeling harassed or threatened by any one," Walker said.
If caught, the shooters could faces aggravated assault charges.