RACINE — More men have been charged for their reported involvement in a rash of local paintball shootings that may be linked to a rapper’s message.
Near the end of March, paintball fights were reported around Atlanta, the same time rapper 21 Savage began posting YouTube videos with the message “Guns down, paintballs up,” according to Sgt. John Chafee, the Associated Press reported. In the videos, the rapper and his friends record themselves having “paintball wars” around the city.
Weeks later, between April 13 and April 18, the Racine Police Department started receiving numerous complaints about paintball incidents, according to criminal complaints issued by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.
According to criminal complaints:
One of the first reported incidents occurred at Dunham’s Sports, 6500 Durand Ave., on April 13. Police responded to paintball shots fired outside the store.
On the way to the call, an officer in an unmarked surveillance vehicle saw three men walking south in the west alley of the 1500 block of South Memorial Drive, one of them carrying a Dunham’s shopping bag.
After arriving at the store, the officer saw a white and blue paintball impact on the rear driver’s side corner of the surveillance vehicle.
A store manager said that at about 1 p.m. that day, a large group of men came into the store and walked to the area where the paintball guns and supplies were kept. Some of the men left the store with unboxed, loaded paintball guns in their hands.
Outside the store, a paintball fight broke out among the group. Police saw numerous paintball strikes on the store’s exterior, and customers inside the store at the time heard the “loud exchange.” A store employee took note of the license plates of the vehicles involved in the paintball gun fight.
On April 13 alone, police reported that there were five additional independent complaints of paintball guns being fired at houses, property, cars and people.
Earlier this month, Kerrion T. Marsh, 20, of Racine was charged with disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana, both misdemeanors, after Racine police received numerous complaints stemming from paintball shots.
Marsh reportedly admitted to shooting paintballs at people and vehicles numerous times in the City of Racine, normally when he was on foot but sometimes from a moving vehicle. He said that most of the shooting took place in the area of 16th Street and Packard Avenue.
When police spoke to Marsh on April 18, he said he’d purchased more than 2,000 rounds of paintball ammunition in the past few days and had only 500 rounds left.
Zavion Z. Ford, 19, of Racine faces the same charges as Marsh after police found marijuana and paintball guns and supplies in his bedroom.
Darquece Davis, 22, Jamie Gordon, 25, and Jordan Harmon, 19, have been charged with disorderly conduct as a party to a crime. Deante M. Monette, 24, Andrew Cage, 26, Marcus Caldwell, 18, and Jordan Jones, 19, face the same charge as repeat offenders.