SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A social media trend that prompts teenagers to fire gel or water pellets seems to have reached Springfield.

Springfield Police said they took a juvenile into custody on April 12 on suspicion of firing water pellets at drivers. Police say the juvenile had an Orbeez weapon. The juvenile was taken to Greene County Juvenile Detention Center. The adult who was driving the car was arrested on several warrants, but not charged in the pellet incident.

Police said something like this can happen anywhere and the public should always be aware of their surroundings and report any incidents.

Caleb Mays said a similar incident happened to him and his friend as they walked along Kimbrough Avenue. Mays said a black car drove by and someone leaned out of the driver’s side window and shot at them with some type of pellet gun. They heard the pops go off and then saw the man hanging out the window.

“It was pretty scary at the time,” Mays said.

Mays said his friend was hit with the pellets. The friend wasn’t hurt but the incident scared them. The car the shots came from sped off too fast for Mays to get the license plate. He said he did not call the police because he didn’t have any information.

“It’s a dumb move and it can honestly get yourself hurt more than be funny,” Mays said. “There’s no reason to put yourself in danger just to be trendy.”

He said you never know how people who are the targets will react, or who is armed.

“I have to walk home every night about a good half mile each way,” Mays said. “I try to stay off main roads now because of it, because, what if it was a real gun?”

James McCabe Baylie Donovsky said they and their friends have been shot at with airsoft guns or Orbeez guns in downtown Springfield.

“They literally go around the square shooting us with BBs, Orbeez, whatever they basically can get their grubby little hands on,” Donovsky said.

McCabe and Donovsky said they believe it’s the same group of people who are shooting at others with the airsoft or Orbeez guns. They report the incidents to the police when they happen.

“It feels like we’re being targeted as homeless,” Donovsky said. “Because they know we’re homeless because they yell at us every time they see us.”

Lt. Tonya Price with the Springfield Police Department explained that Orbeez pellets are filled with gel and they expand when soaked in water. Then those pellets can be put in guns.

“It’s pretty much like an airsoft pistol but they put these gel pellets inside,” said Lt. Price. “Then they shoot them at people, property. A lot of the challenge is for them to be driving down the street or shoot at moving vehicles, so basically a drive-by shooting per se.”

Price said some of the pellet guns used can look similar to real guns. She said the risk of danger is not worth social media notoriety, since it’s hard to predict what people will do. She also said the pellet could seriously injure someone if they are shot in the eye, or shooting at a car could cause the driver to lose control and crash.

Lt. Price said Springfield Police hope the community keeps an eye out for this type of behavior and will call officers if they see someone shooting an Orbeez gun or a pellet gun. She said she hopes anyone who is shot by a gun will file a police report.

Lt. Price said her advice for parents is to keep an eye on social media trends.

“Don’t just turn a blind eye to it but be involved with your kids, talk to your kids and let them know that these can be harmful events,” Price said. “It’s not just good fun. It can get somebody hurt and get them in trouble.”

Her advice for anyone worried about being targeted is to be aware of your surroundings.