Family says Howell seniors shot freshmen with Orbeez guns, leaving them bruised

A freshman says a group of older students shot him and others multiple times with an Orbeez gun during an overnight football team-building event at Howell High School last week.

"I was the only one really getting bullied, more like," the student told FOX 2.

The freshman and his mother asked to remain anonymous. 

Orbeez are jelly-like pellets that are soaked in water. But the toy guns that the students brought to the senior-freshman activity shot the Orbeez in rapid succession – leaving some students with bruises. 

Marks left on a student who says he was shot with Orbeez at Howell High School.

And while the guns were toy guns, "they sound real, and they leave welts, and they hurt," the student's mother said. 

The parent also emphasized that it is not acceptable to bring any type of gun, even toy ones, to an organized high school event.

An Orbeez gun recommended for ages 14 and older, as advertised by the manufacturer. 

"All the upperclassmen, for the most part, had guns," the mother said. "There were three or four of the freshmen that had guns, but that was only because they were in with the upperclassmen."

While Orbeez guns are legal, a person who uses them to shoot someone could face assault and battery charges. And bringing them to school violates policy.

The school responded with a statement that says they are investigating the incident. 

"We are aware of the allegations and concerns stemming from last week's football team-building event," according to Howell High School's administration. "As soon as we were made aware of these, we launched an investigation into the matter, which is currently ongoing as we work to interview participants and gather facts."

Jonathan Sexton, who recently graduated from Howell High School and played football there, knows about the annual senior-freshman activity and said he thinks the seniors were just pulling a "harmless prank."

"I think it was just a misunderstanding, honestly," he added.

But for the freshman FOX 2 spoke with, who was hurt by the Orbeez, the incident was serious. When asked if he still wants to play football, he said, "not really – not for Howell."