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MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – A man opened fire Friday on a prankster who fired paintballs at him after mistaking the paintball gun for a real gun, according to police in Michigan City.

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Authorities said the 40-year-old man was pumping gas at a BP gas station when he began to hear popping sounds and felt stings on his body.

“The (man) then saw someone out of the passenger side widow of a passing vehicle with what appeared to be a gun,” police said. “The (man), thinking that he was being shot at by the passenger in this vehicle, drew his concealed firearm and fired several shots at the vehicle.”

Officers responded to the gas station and determined that the man had been hit by several paintballs. He was not injured. Police said the man has a valid handgun license and fully cooperated with authorities.

Investigators learned a similar incident had been reported earlier Friday in which people were struck with paintballs a few blocks away from the gas station. No injuries were reported in that incident either, authorities said.

“We would like to send a message to the community that this type of behavior can be extremely dangerous,” police said Tuesday. “Not only could an event like on Friday occur which could lead to someone getting seriously hurt or killed, but indiscriminately shooting paintballs at people and vehicles can lead to serious injuries and property damage.”

Man opens fire on pranksters

Police in Michigan City, Indiana, said a man opened fire on a prankster on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, after mistaking a paintball gun for a real gun.