Reward offered in Berks Co. paintball attack

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

It may not seem like it from the photos, but Jared Shaffer is one lucky young man.

The swelling nearly shut his left eye after three people drove up and shot the 15-year-old with a paintball gun.

"I hear paintball shots. And next thing I know I am on the ground holding my eye," he told Action News. "I didn't what i got hit by. And then I took my hand away from my eye and there was white paint all over my sleeve."

Half of an inch higher, and that paint-ball would have hit him square in the eye socket.

But Jared admits, he didn't feel lucky at the time.

" I was scared I would lose my eye or I would be blind," he said. "Because I was blinded, I couldn't see out of it at all."

It happened yesterday evening as Jared was hanging out with friends in a wooded area near a local park.

Witnesses told investigators that a black SUV quickly drove up on Harvey Avenue, near the corner of Butter Lane, with what appeared to be three teenagers inside.

One of them then leaned out from one of the passenger side window and opened fire into the crowd with a paintball gun. Jared was the only one hit.

Jared says it must have been a random act, because he cannot think of anyone who would purposely want to hurt him. He just wants to find out who is responsible.

"Gets me upset because when they drove off all I heard was, 'Oh, good, I hit him!' or something like that,"he said. "I heard them laughing and stuff."

Jared's eyesight is still blurry but he is expected to make a full recovery.

Authorities say there have been other paintball attacks in the area over the last few weeks, but the targets have been cars and homes. This is the first attack on a person.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Berks County Crime Alert at 877-373-9913. A reward up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

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pennsylvania, shooting, berks county, crime, walter perez
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