READING, MASS. (WHDH) - Reading police are investigating after a 10-year-old resident was hit in the face by water-filled gel pellets fired from a toy gun last week. 

Police in a post on Facebook said the incident happened on Friday near 4:30 p.m. while the child was walking down Minot Street with a friend. 

Police said the child was hit by pellets from an Orbeez gun.

“That is outrageous that they’re shooting little kids,” neighbor Carmen Gagliardi said. “Who’s shooting little kids around here?”

Reading police shared a photo of a small silver sedan believed to be involved in the incident and said the person who fired the toy gun could face a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. 

Police have asked anyone who recognizes the sedan or who has information about this incident to contact investigators at 781-944-1212.

Toy guns firing gel pellets have been involved in several incidents around Massachusetts in recent years, prompting warnings from police and other public officials.

On Wednesday, neighbor Brianna Gagliardi said she once was shot by an Orbeez gun while playing in her cul-de-sac.

“It does hurt when you get hit by them,” she said.

In one case in February of 2022, authorities charged four Billerica High School students after they allegedly fired pellets into a crowd of people leaving a basketball game at Tewksbury High School. 

A matter of weeks later, police in Concord said three people were hit by gel pellets. Concord police at the time said the incidents may have been related to a TikTok trend called the “Orbeez Challenge” and warned “These incidents could cause serious injury.”

Yet another incident in late March 2022 prompted a police response in Bridgewater.

In April of last year, Canton police shared a warning for community members after police said they confiscated several gel pellet guns from children. 

Canton Police Chief Helena Rafferty told 7NEWS the guns look like real guns, causing concern for many.

“What was to us water guns of the past are now a problem because they look so real,” Rafferty said. 

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