Neighbors on Harris Circle in Waterbury said they won’t go out at night because it turns into a paintball war zone, with suspects running up to anyone, young or old.
Over this past weekend, an innocent 7-year-old girl was seriously injured after a stray paintball hit her in the eye.
In a video, exclusively on Eyewitness News, one suspect identified as Benjamin Estrella apologized to the victim’s family outside of court on Wednesday, but then he issued a denial.
“I don't shoot paintball guns at all. I don't own a paintball gun and had nothing to do with any paintball guns,” Estrella said.
However, the 26-year-old recently served time for shooting a man with a pistol, and was arrested over the summer for firing a gun in a parking lot.
Now, neighbors said they are grateful that it was a paintball gun that was involved in this incident recently, and not a real one.
“If that was a real gun, there would've been more people out here dead than hurt,” said eyewitness Stephanie Callegari.
Police also said Demaine Brockett, a housekeeper at Kennedy High is also to blame. Police said he and Estrella were free after posting $50,000 bonds.
Bianca Gainey said her friend was attacked by shooters armed with paintball guns who she said were firing frozen paintballs.
“He had a mark on his head, big yellow stain here, and all over his pants and his back and he tried to hold the folding chair so they wouldn't shoot him,” Gainey said. “I have a 1-year-old and I don't want that happening to him.”
The community is hoping this close call will be a wake-up call for the shooters who are still out there.
The judge told both suspects not to come in contact with the victim, who is expected to recover.
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