GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro Police say recent paintball shootings in the city could be tied to a new social media challenge.
Police say it's called "Paintballs Up, Guns Down" and they believe it started in Atlanta.
On Thursday night shortly after 9 p.m., officers responded to a large group of people firing paintball guns in the Dick's Sporting Goods parking lot off Bridford Parkway. Some of those paintballs hit the storefront.
Police say the group of about 18 people left the area before officers got there. No arrests have been made.
Greensboro Police officer Lt. Golden says over the past week they've had more than a dozen calls about "paintball battles" across the city.
Lt. Golden says anyone caught firing the paintballs could face a big impact.
"So it's a city ordinance violation to begin with, but when any third person -- or third person's property becomes involved then you're looking at possible additional charges, or even assault charges," said Lt. Golden.
GPD Public Information Officer, Ron Glenn says the shootings have involved people firing paintball guns at each other from their vehicles, with other drivers getting caught in the cross hairs. Glenn says no one has been hurt in those shootings.
GPD said public safety is the top priority, and they're most worried about someone getting confused about the situation and making it much, much worse.
"If someone misconstrues that as a real firearm they have a right to protect themselves. An officer going into a situation like that, when we get a call that someone is here armed with a firearm we often don't have the time or opportunity to determine is it a real firearm or is it a paintball gun? We just want this to stop before anything tragic happens," said Lt. Golden.
Police don't know if the shootings are connected.