There’s Been a Surge in Drive-By Paintball Gun Shootings in Chicago (Updated)

There has been a wave of drive-by paintball gun shootings in Chicago recently, which to most has to sound like a joke headline but we promise that it’s not. It’s completely real. Basically what’s going on is this; assholes are driving around Chicago and picking off innocent bystanders on street corners, but instead of real guns they are using paintball guns.

Mind you this is Chicago, a city known for actual shootings of all varieties. There are actually people out here that think driving around with a gun, that shoots paint, is a wise idea.


The wave has hit various neighborhoods around the city but the most recent incidents have been focused on university campuses, with the most attacks being in the University of Chicago. U of Chicago, of course, being in the Hyde Park neighborhood on the South Side. But other incidents at the University of Illinois-Chicago and DePaul have been reported as well. Now, on one hand, people are not dying from this. However, this string of incidents has resulted in more than a handful of hospitalizations as victims are being hit in the facial area, causing eye injuries.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “At least eight people on or near university campuses in Chicago have suffered eye injuries from a string of paintball attacks.”


Chicago is already a city with a very serious gun violence issue that leaves pedestrians constantly on edge as they roam the streets of the city’s various neighborhoods. The peppering of paintballs is not going to do anything to assist in combating the actual issue at hand. Per data as recent as October 9th, there have been 605 gun-related deaths in Chicago. The city doesn’t need a few cars toting paintball guns like a couple of high school freshman at Challenge Park shooting up neighborhood blocks like Jackson Pollack. It’s completely unnecessary.


No lie, we tried to make this as satirical as possible, jabbing at the fact that paintball guns are still a thing and that people are using them but with each passing word we just grow more and more agitated that the gun violence issue will merely be perpetuated because of a childish act. Paint-balling in 2020 is about as neat as Jim Boylen is good at coaching.

Have you been a part of or bystander to one of these paintball attacks around the city? Reach out to us at or drop a line in the comments and we’ll add your account to our on-going story of these incidents around Chicago.


Since the release of this article we had an individual we’ll refer to as JR reach out to recount his experience with Chicago’s surge in paintball attacks. JR cites:

“Another paintball attack to report: I, along with three other bystanders, were hit with multiple paintballs in the Streeterville area in downtown Chicago. This was on Saturday, September 26th, 2020 as we were waiting for our Uber. The shooters were driving a grey SUV. A police report was filed, but the shooters weren’t caught. None of us were seriously injured; a few bruises as they leave pretty nasty marks, but it was nonetheless scary considering someone could have been harmed and many other bystanders in the area panicked and ducked since it sounds like actual gunfire.”


These attacks are happening all around the city. Streeterville, of course, is where Northwestern Memorial Hospital resides making this even more of a concern. These senseless acts of faux violence are only going to lead to more actual gun violence in Chicago.

UPDATE (10/29)


The wave of paintball shootings in Chicago has not stopped since news broke of the attacks a couple of weeks ago. More and more pop-up incidents continue happening around different parts of the city. This time, we head back to Streeterville and the Loop.


Per CWB Chicago, “Thursday’s shootings downtown were reported in quick succession beginning around 10:20 p.m. when a 33-year-old man was targeted as he walked on Illinois Street near McClurg Court, according to Chicago police. And then, within the next 20 minutes, two more paintball shootings were reported in the Loop. Workers said four men fired paintballs at them from a black Nissan near Monroe and State streets. Around the same time, another person reported being shot by paintballs fired from a passing car near the Chicago Theatre, 175 North State.”

We’ll continue keeping you updated as news trickles in regarding these idiotic paintball drive-by attacks around the city. Stay safe out there, Chicago.

At UrbanMatter, U Matter. And we think this matters.

Tell us what you think matters in your neighborhood and what we should write about next in the comments below!

Featured Image Credit: DePaul University Facebook Page



About Author