SMITHFIELD – Smithfield Police are investigating after six people were reportedly struck with gel pellets fired by juveniles as part of what appears to be a TikTok challenge. Three separate incidents happened minutes apart.
Around 1:00pm last Wednesday, May 4th, a 61 year-old man walking along south Fifth Street near Lee Street was struck in the neck and head by gel pellets reportedly fired by three juveniles in a white or light-color four-door Hyundai passenger car.
Minutes later, an employee at Deacon Jones Auto Park was stopped for a stoplight on N. Brightleaf Boulevard at the dealership when he was struck. He reported minor injuries.
Around 1:15pm, four employees at the Johnston County Department of Social Services were outside their building on North Street when they were struck by the pellets. The employees were not injured.
Police believe the incidents could be part of a dangerous TikTok Orbeez challenge where juveniles videotape themselves firing frozen gel pellets at unsuspecting victims.
In March, seven juveniles were briefly detained after a similar incident in the Harris Teeter parking lot on Crossroads Way at Flowers Crossing near Clayton.
Anyone with information about the suspects in the May 4 incidents in Smithfield is urged to contact Smithfield Police at 919-934-2121. Callers may remain anonymous.