TikTok trend may have prompted ban, shooting in Beaumont: Police

BANNING, CA — Two men and three teenagers suspected of shooting into a vehicle in the Pass area may have been inspired by the viral TikTok trend, the Banning Police Department announced Monday.

Joseph Marc Anthony Gastelum, 18, and Jaden Rivier Sanchez, 20, and three juveniles were taken into custody Thursday evening. Police officers were called to the area of ​​unincorporated Cabazon at Mulkey Road and Seminole Drive around 6:30 p.m. to assist the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and Morongo Tribal Police on a report of shots fired. Vehicle.

Several victims said they were shot, possibly with a BB gun, including one man who reported he was assaulted in a parking lot near Hobby Lobby at 300 S. Highland Springs Avenue, according to police.

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Law enforcement conducted a traffic stop on a suspect vehicle and found Gastelum, Sanchez, and three juveniles, ages 15 to 17, inside.

“The arrestees were in possession of four splatball blasters and a loaded polymer 80 unregistered ‘ghost gun,'” according to the banned police department. “Investigation revealed that the subjects were driving through Banning, Beaumont and Cabazon, using SplatRBall blasters to attack citizens in the area. It is believed that this activity may be related to the recent TikTok trend taking place in many areas across the country.”

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According to various news reports, a social media trend called #OrbeezChallenge calls on people to use gel pellets from toy guns like SplatRBall blasters. The challenge is named after the gel pellets themselves.

As for the alleged ghost gun found in the suspects’ vehicle, the weapons ban is an ongoing case across the country, according to police. Ghost guns are serializable and untraceable weapons that can be purchased online and assembled at home, and they shoot real bullets. Ghost guns are illegal in California.

Nevada-based Polymer80 is the largest manufacturer of ghost gun kits in the country. The company has been at the center of several civil lawsuits, including pending lawsuits brought by the cities of Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., that accuse the company of flouting state and federal gun laws.

Gastelum was called Monday by Larry D. Banning. Smith was being held at the Correctional Center on charges of possession of a loaded firearm and possession of an unregistered firearm. He was also charged with recklessly discharging a firearm and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Gastelum was arraigned Tuesday and was held in lieu of $10,000 bail, according to jail records.

Sanchez was released on $5,000 bail the day of his arrest after being booked into a banning facility on misdemeanor charges.

Information about the three minors is not available.

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