Trinity students shot by paintballs

Trinity College Campus Safety and the Hartford Police Department are conducting an investigation after several students have been shot by paintballs fired from a moving vehicle in past weeks. It is currently believed that all of shootings have been by the same group of Hartford locals.

The attacks have been taking place all around the city, at a student owned residence in Hartford, as well as on the campus. Jack Boucher ’18, one of the Trinity students targeted by the attacks, said in an interview with the Echo, “I got a text from my buddy saying that we got lit up by paintball guns.” Boucher lives in the on-campus house, now covered with splattered paint.

Throughout the weeks following the initial attack, multiple other students have reported being shot with paintballs during the early morning, typically on weekends. The Echo was also able to talk to an anonymous senior, who was attacked at his off-campus home, “I was outside my house Sunday morning saying goodbye to my girlfriend when a red SUV drove by with a guy wearing a ‘Scream’ mask sitting shotgun. The car slowed down and the guy pulled out a paintball gun and started unloading on the two of us.”

Another resident of the same house was also shot at during a different incident. Ben Hjalmarsson ’16 recalled getting shot at with his friends, from a similar red SUV, “My friends were really scared,” he said. “They thought it was gunshots at first so they kind of dove down but then when they got inside they were laughing.” Hjalmarsson’s experience differed from the other attacks, because on this particular night the shooters did not adorn masks of any kind, “They said what they could see in the car wasn’t Trinity people. They said they were way older, like 30,” Hjalmarsson said of his friends who saw the perpetrators clearly.

The Trinity Tripod, Trinity’s student-run newspaper reported, “The Hartford Police Department, being aware of the incidents, has taken some measures in their search to find the culprits of these incidents.” Director of Campus Safety Brian Heavren said, “the police department has been given the photographic and video evidence that we have,”

“They have shared it with their officers so they can look for the vehicles that may be involved or question people found in other parts of the city found with paintball guns.  The police department has also increased their presence on campus to prevent further incidents and to identify the vehicles and their occupants should they return.”  Fox News affiliates further reported that, “the perpetrator wore a ‘Scream’ Halloween mask and was in a maroon sedan.”

At this point no arrests have been made, but the police are still searching for the masked shooters. Trinity students have been informed that, “Campus Safety has no information that leads them to believe that any individual or group has been targeted. It appears that the people committing these assaults are driving on city streets contiguous to our campus to locate individuals or groups that are walking or congregating outside,” according to the Tripod.

Students have since been encouraged by Campus Safety and the administration to avoid the outskirts of campus during the early mornings, for as long as the investigation continues.