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A TikTok challenge is at the center of a NYPD investigation after Dion Middleton, 45, was arrested and charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon after murdering 18-year-old Raymond Chaluisant near The Bronx’s Mount Hope section.
An NYPD spokesperson stated, “On Thursday, July 21, 2022, at approximately 01.35 hours, police responded to a pick-up 911 call of male shot at the north west corner of the Grand Concourse and East Tremont within the confines of the 46 Precinct.”
TikTok challenge proves deadly
Police say Chaluisant was inside a car firing an Orbeez gun—a toy that fires water-filled pellets and is associated with a viral challenge on the social-media platform. Middleton then shot the youngster with a real firearm, firing several rounds, according to sources cited by the Daily News.
Orbeez guns essentially are amped-up water guns, with users able to shoot bead pellets filled with water at their opponent. The fake guns are toys for children, but because of TikTok they have become involved in a viral challenge to shoot people.
The so-called Orbeez Challenge encourages kids to shoot the bead blasters. Many videos show teens firing the water beads from a moving car. At this stage of the investigation, there’s no evidence Chaluisant fired the gun at the correction officer, but police said Middleton pulled out a real gun and fired.
The NYPD spokesperson added, “Upon arrival, officers observed an 18-year-old male, unconscious and unresponsive with a gunshot wound to his face. EMS responded to the scene and transported the victim to Saint Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.”
The NY Daily News reported the teen victim had been playing with friends, shooting a water gun amid the hot summer’s day heat.