MIAMI, FL – A 10 year-old Miami boy is currently hospitalized after he convinced his father to take him on a “drive-by” paintball shooting, only to receive return fire in the form of a real bullet from a frightened homeowner; the child’s injuries were compounded after he was subsequently run over by his own father in the confusion, according to reports.
Michael Williams, 26, agreed with his son’s request to take him on a drive-by shooting with his paintball gun, with his target being a group of boys he had allegedly engaged in a paintball fight previously, reports say.
The father and son reportedly donned hoodies and ski masks and, while driving in a van, headed over to a residence located in Opa-locka, where the boy fired multiple non-lethal paintball pellets into a crowd of children and adults who were gathered on the front lawn.
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However, as the paintballs peppered the crowd, the owner of the home – identified as Gregory Barns – was frightened and thought that “he and his family were under attack.” At that time, Barns reportedly drew his own gun and fired a single shot at the van as it sped by.
The bullet struck the 10 year-old paintballer who then fell out of the moving vehicle, only to be accidently run over by his father, officials say. Williams proceeded to put the boy back into the van, fled home, and had the boy’s mother call 911, police say. The boy was rushed to a local area hospital, where his condition has not yet been revealed; however, he is reportedly expected to survive.
Opa-locka, located Miami-Dade County, has recently been experiencing a massive surge of gun violence to such a degree that a local resident has referred to the city as “the devil’s dungeon.”
Williams has been charged with Child Neglect with Great Bodily Harm for acting “recklessly by agreeing to conduct a drive-by paintball shooting,” according to a police report obtained by the Miami Herald.