Two men arrested after gel gun incident

Two Middle Keys men were arrested Thursday after they shot at people in a golf cart with an airsoft-type gun.

Damian Neil Gonzalez, 19, of Duck Key, and Christian Arturo Valenzuela, 20, of Marathon, were both charged with battery.

There were no serious injuries reported.

Deputy Juan Carlos Marino responded to Duck Key at 1 p.m. regarding someone shooting projectiles out of a car and hitting at least one person.

The victims told Deputy Marino they were in a golf cart waiting for a gate to open when two people in a Ford Mustang opened fire on them with some type of gun. The 24-year-old female victim was struck in her thigh. Deputy Marino noted there appeared to be redness or bruising consistent with being struck by a projectile. The male and female in the golf cart stated they had no idea who owns the Mustang or why anyone would want to shoot them with projectiles.

The suspect vehicle was found at a residence on Duck Key shortly thereafter. Deputy Marino observed a grey and blue plastic gun inside the vehicle. There was also a plastic magazine visible loaded with blue, gel-like balls which appeared to be the projectiles.

Valenzuela, the car’s owner, was inside the residence. He stated he was driving while Gonzalez fired the gun, later identified as SplatRball® gun, at occupants in a golf cart.

Deputy Marino also spoke to Gonzalez who stated he and Valenzuela were bored and they thought it would be fun to shoot people with the gel gun.

Both suspects stated they didn’t know who they were firing upon.

The gel gun was taken into evidence and both suspects were taken to jail.

Gel guns are toy guns similar to airsoft guns, but the projectiles they shoot are absorbent polymer water beads, which are also commonly sold commercially as moisture retainers for gardening.

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