BILLINGS — A mother in Billings sent out the call for awareness on Monday after her 13-year-old daughter was victim to a viral Tik Tok challenge that saw her shot in the face with a BB gun and sent her to the hospital.
“Her and her brother were just walking home and some random kids just start shooting at them," said Londa Means, mother to the victim.
It was a Saturday night on Apr. 2 when someone driving near Riverside Middle School targeted 13-year-old Zalie C'Bearing and her brother with a BB gun, Means said.
"All of a sudden, we started getting shot at. And I couldn’t really see who and by the time I tried to see who, I got shot. After I got shot, I was just looking down because there was just blood gushing everywhere. By that time, they had already left," C'Bearing said.
The family says the BB gun shooting is part of a viral challenge sparked from the social media platform Tik Tok. Known as the Orbeez challenge, the app shows videos of people shooting small, non-lethal, gel-filled balls at random people on the nation's streets.
But the recent incident in Billings involving a BB gun had the potential to leave long-lasting damage.
"This is a bad Tik Tok challenge, because she could have gotten really hurt bad. She could have gotten her eye taken out, maybe her temple shot. We don’t know exactly. We’re lucky she came home and we were able to get her over to the hospital," Means said.
Luckily, C'Bearing's injuries were minor, with the BB just leaving some scarring on her upper lip and cheek. After posting her family's incident on a Billings community Facebook page, Means said she's heard of four other kids shot in similar situations.
"There was a little 6-year-old that got shot up just the other day down the street by Orbeez gun. All we know is that this is getting bad and it’s ridiculous. These kids can get seriously hurt," Means said.
The family has filed a police report, but said cops didn't have much luck in tracking down the culprit, because the area of the shooting wasn't covered by school security cameras, Means said.
“Kids are thinking it’s a game and it’s not a game. Kids are getting hurt," Means said.