Volusia teen faces charges after shooting school adviser with pellets as part of online ‘Orbeez Challenge’

Orlando Sentinel | By Joe Mario Pedersen | March 24, 2022

A 17-year-old Volusia student is facing charges of battery against a school employee after shooting them with “Orbeez” water beads as part of an online challenge, according to authorities.

Around 3:20 p.m. Monday, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a New Smyrna Beach High School regarding a campus adviser who was shot with pellets while locking a gate near the faculty parking lot, according to VCSO.

The victim was hit in the face several times and blew one of the pellets out of her nose but was not injured, VCSO said.

Deputies found the student and interviewed him the next day. He told them he was “horse playing” with the blaster gun he got during spring break and recorded a Snapchat video of the shooting.

Recently, the Orbeez Challenge has been trending on TikTok and features participants using air-powered guns to fire “Orbeez” water beads at strangers.

Last week, VCSO announced several arrests made associated with the challenge. First, deputies arrested 19-year-old Sean McMullen, of Enterprise, on March 9 and suspected him of shooting an Amazon delivery driver in Deltona, hitting him in his glasses and neck while driving his route. Second, VCSO arrested 18-year-old Diego Medina Vega and two 17-year-olds after receiving reports of two Deltona residents being hit by pellets fired from a van that took off after the shooting.

Deputies found the van and arrested the teenagers, who each face a battery charge, VCSO said. Vega was additionally charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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