‘Ridiculous:’ Bicyclist shot in eye by paintball hours after police issued warning to residents

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police are investigating after a bicyclist was hit in the eye by a paintball Monday night, April 30. It happened around 11:15 p.m.  in the area of 51st and Villard -- hours after police warned against this.

Police said during a news conference on Monday afternoon investigators believe these paintball shootings likely stemmed from postings on social media. Police said there had been nearly 70 incidents reported since April 26.

"A rapper named 21 Savage -- who put this out as a paintball challenge called 'guns down, paintballs up.' He started the movement in an effort to stop the shooting in the inner city," said Sgt. Melissa Franckowiak.

21 Savage

On Monday night near 51st and Villard, a suspect passing in a car drove by and shot a bicyclist with paintballs. The bicyclist, a man, 32, was taken to a hospital to be treated. Surveillance cameras captured the moments after he was hit. He's seen in the video holding his eye, trying to get to safety, walking with his bike. Officers can be seen meeting him at the corner before he was taken to the hospital.

Bicyclist hit by paintball near 51st and Villard

Bicyclist hit by paintball near 51st and Villard

Adam Kowalczyk

Adam Kowalczyk, a postal carrier, said his co-workers have been targeted.

"That could cause vision loss. That is ridiculous. We have one carrier who is out with an eye injury and we were told another carrier got hit. It can cause serious injuries. We constantly have to look over our shoulders and be more cautious," said Kowalczyk.

Kowalczyk said he has a message for those who are taking part in this.

"There is no reason to hurt anybody, especially people who who don't know or who haven't done anything to you. Call it quits. Just call off the game. There are enough dumb games and enough people getting hurt from random acts of violence. We don't need any more of it," said Kowalczyk.

Police also issued a warning to paintball shooters.

"There is a potential of you bring shot and possibly killed by someone thinking you are robbing them," said Franckowiak.

One person has been arrested after the incident near 51st and Villard. Police said they're taking these incidents seriously, and the case will be referred to the district attorney's office for possible felony charges.