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Dearborn police warn against shooting toy gun at people in TikTok challenge

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Dearborn — They may be toys, but Dearborn police aren't playing when they warn kids not to use toy guns to shoot at people as part of a TikTok challenge.

Officials said they have responded in recent weeks to numerous incidents of people being shot at random by toy guns that fire balls made of water-absoring gel — some people were injured. The balls are called Orbeez.

Dearborn police said TikTok users in a so-called "Orbeez Challenge" use toy guns, like the one pictured here, to shoot water-absorbant gel balls at bystanders and pedestrians. Some of the people have been injured.

Police said they've arrested one teen who is expected to face assault charges in one such incident.

“Once again we find ourselves dealing with a dangerous trend on social media that has influenced our young people to make dangerous choices that can have lifetime consequences," Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shahin said in a statement. "I encourage parents to talk to their kids about what they see on social media and to pay attention to the next inevitable dangerous trend that is sure to arise."

Investigators said they believe shooters in the incidents are kids participating in a so-called  "Orbeez Challenge" and posting them on the TikTok video-sharing app. In the challenge, TikTok users film themselves loading Orbeez balls into plastic guns, driving by people and shooting people at random.

Shahin said his department has a zero-tolerance policy on such TikTok challenges that endanger the public.