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Drive-by paintball shooting injures 9-year-old in Sacramento, police say

SACRAMENTO -- A group of children was attacked with a paintball gun while riding their bikes. CBS Sacramento reports that it's the third paintball attack in just two days, according to police.

"They're not targeting specific people," said Sgt. Bryce Heinlein with Sacramento Police Department. "They just think that this is a good time going out to shoot people and, in reality, they're hurting people."

A mother of two boys, who asked to remain anonymous, described the attack to CBS Sacramento. Her 7 and 9-year-old sons were riding their bikes Monday afternoon with a friend in the neighborhood.

All of a sudden a car full of men approached the children and shot four times with a paintball gun in their direction.

"When you're a little kid and you see somebody pull a gun out from the window of a car and shoot it at you, you're fearful," she said.  "I was frustrated, I mean immediately you just want to go defend your kid."

One of the paintballs hit her 9-year-old in the back, leaving him with a painful bruise. But the scariest part: he thought it was a bullet and a real gun.

"It's frustrating," the mom told the station. "I don't think my kid should be worried about coming outside in our own yard!"

"Not only was a 9-year-old boy hurt, but another individual was actually shot in the face," Sgt. Heinlein described.

Luckily, the person hit in the face was wearing glasses that shielded her eye. The other two attacks happened in a nearby neighborhood in South Sacramento, just an hour apart on Sunday afternoon.

Heinlein says attacking someone with a paintball gun is considered assault with a deadly weapon, so the suspects could face jail time. Police do not believe both events are connected, but detectives are still investigating.