'Orbeez Challenge' May Have Led To Fatal Shooting Of NYC Teen By Off-Duty Corrections Officer
An off-duty New York corrections officer has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a young man with an "Orbeez" toy gun.
by Danteé Ramos
July 26, 2022 at 5:35 pm
A trending TikTok challenge may have led to an 18-year-old in New York City getting shot and killed by an off-duty correction officer.
Raymond Chaluisant was found unconscious after being fatally shot in the face on Thursday.
https://t.co/iigs7yxhYE Teen With Toy Gun From Viral ‘Orbeez’ TikTok Challenge Shot and Killed: A New York City teenager with an “Orbeez” gun used in viral TikTok challenges was shot and killed by an off-duty corrections officer early Thursday morning. Police are… Vice trending pic.twitter.com/2w3IBzUX03
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Officers believe the young man was participating in the “Orbeez challenge” seen on TikTok. The challenge involves young people using toy airsoft water guns to fire gel-like beads at unsuspecting people.
Police arrived at a street corner in the Morris Heights neighborhood of the Bronx.
Chaluisant was immediately taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Dion Middleton, 45, an off-duty correction officer, allegedly shot Chaluisant and has been charged with murder. Police say they have seen the Orbeez gun that Chaluisant had in his possession.
Middleton was reportedly arrested upon arriving to work several hours later.
NY Attorney General Letitia James said in a news release that her office is working to conduct a thorough investigation.
“My office is committed to a thorough and transparent investigation of every case where an officer of the law may have caused a death,” James said.
“I offer my sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Chaluisant, and the people of New York have my pledge that we will work to see that justice is served,” James continued.
There’s no evidence Chaluisant fired the Orbeez gun at Middleton, but police said the correction officer pulled out a real gun and fired at the teen.
Orbeez guns essentially are amped-up water guns but can be quickly taken as an actual firearm if you take a quick look.
HEADS UP: The Orbeez Challenge can get you in trouble. Multiple agencies have had reports of people hit by gel beads fired from toy blaster guns.
Recently, deputies arrested a 19-year-old who shot an Amazon driver in @CityofDeltona. He was hit in his glasses & neck while driving. pic.twitter.com/RI6GQvElVz
— Volusia Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) March 16, 2022
Many Tik Tok videos show teens firing the water beads from literally everywhere. In response to this troubling bead trend, other states have begun issuing warnings to those who may be interested in participating.
Allen Teston, a chief deputy based in Texas, spoke out to residents in the area surrounding the trending challenge.
“They could face criminal charges such as assault, and they or their family members can face civil penalties if an injured person were to sue them,” Teston said.
Chaluisant’s family has not spoken.