Air rifle shots target people

By Stewart Warren

Someone in Grant Towers blasted an air rifle loaded with BBs early Monday morning at three pizza delivery people, and one round hit an NIU student in the cheek, University Police said.

The four incidents happened at the southeast side of the Grant South B Tower between 1:05 and 1:30 a.m., UP Sgt. Ralph Taylor said.

The incidents dismayed the University Police. “I’m concerned that whoever is doing this is not just risking damaging property. They are shooting at people,” UP Lt. Kathy Guimond said.

Each of the victims said they heard a popping sound before the BBs whizzed past, Taylor said. In the first incident just after 1 a.m., a BB hit a pizza delivery man’s bag and his coat sleeve as he walked into the building with an order of food, Guimond said.

A second pizza delivery man was not hit by the BBs, but one hit his car at about 1:10 a.m., Guimond said. The car was not damaged, she said.

Another delivery person bringing pizza into the building was hit in the right arm by a BB at about 1:15 a.m., but she was not hurt, Guimond said.

One BB did puncture the right side of a woman’s face as she walked from the bus stop on Douglas Drive to Grant Towers, Taylor said. The woman did not need any medical attention, Guimond said.

The UPs said they need NIU students to help them catch whoever is shooting the air rifle. “We need student cooperation in the B tower. Students should realize that they could be a victim. Someone could lose an eye if they got him in the right place,” Taylor said.

The police do not have any suspects, but a UP officer found some BBs in a Grant South floor lounge.

Although owning an air rifle is not illegal, Guimond said shooting at someone with one is against the law.

“I hope that the residents of Grant Towers who use the main entrance would realize that they could be potential victims. If they know who is doing this, they should give us a call at 753-1212,” she said.