BILLINGS — A Billings boy said on Saturday that he's nervous to go outside after he was shot three times with an airsoft gun earlier in the week while playing in his front yard with a friend.
“Really scary, and I didn’t want to stay outside anymore," said Jaxun Cole, who was shot.
On Monday night, Cole, 10, and his friend were riding scooters out front of his home on the 2000 block of 13th Street West when a white SUV filled with two men shot at the boys with what the family later learned was an airsoft gun.
“They were racing up and down the sidewalk playing. I guess they stopped to chit chat with each other and some guys slowed down and started nailing them with either the airsoft guns, or orbeez gun,” said Cole's mother, Jennifer Montgomery.
Earlier in the week, a Billings mother spoke out about a similar incident, where a TikTok social media challenge sent her daughter to the hospital after she was shot in the face with a BB gun.
During an MTN News interview on Saturday, eagle-eyed Jaxun spotted something out of place in the front yard.
"What's that? I see something," Cole said.
He found a plastic airsoft BB. Measuring 6 mm in size, the projectiles are shot from airsoft guns, which are typically used in mock combat sports, similar to paintball. Jaxun was shot three times, two of which hit and left a welt on his chest and back. The family only has Nerf guns inside the house, so the airsoft BB was out of place.
Cole's mother is understandably upset.
"It's shocking. In all of my years, I never grew up thinking it was okay to just drive around and think it is okay to hurt people. Now I'm a mom. To hurt my child breaks my heart that this happened to him. In front of his own house at that," Montgomery said.
Montgomery said she did report the crime to police earlier in the week and told them of the new evidence on Saturday. Billings police say the white SUV matches the description of a suspect vehicle in other similar recent shootings. She's lived on the block since she was three, but Montgomery said she hasn't seen anything like this happen before.
"I've never seen this before. I've never seen this happen, not even in this neighborhood. From what I hear, they're not pinpointing a certain neighborhood. They're just hitting people," Montgomery said.
The culprit could face charges ranging between misdemeanor assault and felony assault with a weapon.