Barrington High School LGBTQ+ students shot with gel pellets in what officials say is latest TikTok challenge

Matt Petersen

Matt Petersen stands along West Main Street in Barrington on March 18, 2022. Police are investigating after Petersen and his boyfriend were reportedly harassed and injured after being shot at with a pellet gun while heading into Barrington High School on Wednesday. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)

Two Barrington High School students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community were allegedly targeted in a pellet gun shooting on campus this week in an incident officials say is likely related to the latest TikTok challenge breaking out across the U.S.

Barrington resident Kristin Stedman said Friday that her son, Matt Petersen, and his boyfriend were walking to school on Wednesday morning when a student pointed a toy rifle out the window of a car, spraying the two teens with pellets in a parking lot adjacent to the high school’s entrance.

“They were walking toward the building and they heard a loud sound, were hit by these bullets, and started running,” Stedman said.

After entering the school building and heading to the cafeteria, the teens were allegedly followed by the perpetrators, who trailed them making animal sounds, including barking, Stedman said.

“What kind of families raise kids who like to pick on people?” Stedman said.

In a Thursday letter to parents, Barrington Principal Steve McWilliams said the incident involved “some students on campus participating in what is being referred to as the Orbeez TikTok Challenge. This is where teens shoot gel beads at each other with toy guns.”

“During our investigation, we have learned that some of the students who were the victims of this incident are members of our LGBTQ+ community. We have spoken to all parties involved and have referred this incident to the Barrington Police Department for further processing,” McWilliams said.

Barrington police Chief David Dorn said the incident is under investigation.

More here.

Feeds,Region: NW Herald,Local,Region: Suburbs

via The Barrington Hills Observer

March 19, 2022 at 11:06AM

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