LORAIN — Police are looking into a series of paintball gun assaults that occurred across Lorain and Elyria on Wednesday.
From midnight Wednesday to early Thursday morning, multiple people in Lorain and Elyria reported being shot at with paintball guns by unknown individuals in black, blue and red cars.
Nicholas Latorre, 18, Aalijah Rico, 19, and Gorge Diaz, 19, were charged with assault, criminal mischief and having a slingshot or bow and arrow by Lorain police Thursday for their part in the series of assaults and paintball gun shootings.
Additionally Devin Sweat, 18, and Justin Innes, 19 were charged with two counts of criminal mischief and criminal damage each by the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office. Innes was also issued charges for assault and improper discharge of a firearm.
In one of the initial reports, a woman told police she heard something hit her house about 12:45 a.m. on the 1700 block of Long Avenue in Lorain and watched a black car pull away. When police arrived at the woman’s house, they saw three orange marks from a paintball gun surrounding her door, according to the police report.
Almost an hour later at 1:54 a.m., a man reported two cars driving past him as he was standing outside of his vehicle on E Street in Lorain. He told police someone from one of the cars shot at him five times with a paintball gun, hitting him once in the head.
Police were able to start identifying a suspect in the assaults when a Lorain man called police to say that someone shot at his house on the 1200 block of West 40th Street with a paintball gun around 2:45 a.m. He told police he saw a black Nissan Altima parked outside of his house around the time of the incident. The man told police that earlier in the evening, he had seen Innes, a friend of his, riding in the car.
Reports of paintballs being shot in Elyria and Lorain increased throughout the day until more than 12 incidents had been reported by Wednesday evening, according to a police report.
After a woman reported being shot with a paintball gun around 10:30 p.m. from suspects in a red car near 15th Street and Middle Avenue in Elyria, officers from the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office pulled over a red Ford Taurus near EMH Elyria Medical Center around 11 p.m., which they believed was connected to the reports.
Sweat and Innes, who were in the car, admitted to firing paintball guns and were charged.
About 12:30 a.m. Thursday, police made another arrest after they pulled over a blue Mitsubishi on East 28th Street in Lorain driven by Diaz with Rico and Latorre riding in the car. Police found paintballs and paintball guns in the car and charged the three men with shootings around Lorain and Elyria.
Lorain police said the investigation is ongoing and they cannot definitively tie all of the incidents together yet.
“It’s too soon to tell,” Lorain police Detective Brian Denman said.