Lynnwood police said they arrested four teenage boys — including one from Lynnwood — Sunday after a homeless man in his 50s reported he was shot in the face with a paintball gun.
According to police, the victim contacted a Lynnwood police officer just after midnight near the 19200 block of 196th Street Southwest, telling the officer he had just been walking to work when a carload of juveniles pulled up next to him and shot at him with a paintball gun — striking him in the face and chest.
The man, who had visible swelling and bruising underneath one of his eyes, described the suspect vehicle as a blue four-door sedan driving without its headlights. The man stated that after the occupants shot him, the vehicle exited from the church parking lot where he had been walking and he last saw it headed in 196th Street. The man told the officer he initially thought he had been shot with a real gun when he was struck in the face. The victim also said he could hear laughter coming from the vehicle as it took off.
The officer had observed the suspect vehicle exit onto 196th Street Southwest while he was conducting an unrelated traffic stop and requested additional officers attempt to locate the suspect vehicle. Officers quickly found a vehicle driving in the area that matched the description, making odd turns and occasionally shutting off its headlights.
“The vehicle was pulled over by officers and a paintball gun was observed inside,” said Lynnwood police spokesman Commander Sean Doty. After further investigation, all four juvenile occupants of the vehicle were arrested and transported to the Denney Juvenile Justice Center, where they were booked for second-degree assault.
The four arrested were all males and ranged in age from 15 to 16; two were listed as Edmonds residents, one from Woodinville, and one from Lynnwood. The male victim, in his 50s, stated he was homeless, Doty said.