CINCINNATI -- The bullet that struck Over-the Rhine resident Patrick Victorian in the eye Thursday night wasn't designed to kill, but it still left him facing the possibility of a lifelong impairment.
Victorian, 32, was blinded in his left eye Thursday when a drive-by shooter's paintball pellet caught him in the face. He had been walking across the street to buy a piece of pizza, according to his mother, Belinda Holden-Victorian, when the shooter opened fire.
And he wasn't the only one: A second shooting near Findlay Market, which police believe was likely committed by the same person or people, sent Fred Neurohr running for cover.
"We heard a quick series of pops, and we had no idea what was going on," Neurohr said.
At first, he and others thought the bullets were were real; Neurohr fled, thinking the pellet splatters that struck him were shrapnel.
According to Holden-Victorian, her son didn't realize it was a paintball pellet that struck him until he reached up to feel the injury and his fingers came away blue.
Now, Holden-Victorian said, her son is blind in his left eye and may need surgery to have the damaged eye removed.
"I can't imagine a kid with a well-meaning adult involved in their life would think it's a good idea to drive around and spray people with paintballs," Neurohr said. "A quick thrill or something that they thought might be funny is going to cost somebody a lifetime of suffering and pain."
Five people in three locations were struck with blue paintballs, according to police.
The paintballs were fired by someone in a purple or maroon Chevrolet Impala or Toyota sedan with tinted windows, police said. There may have also been a dog inside the car.
Police asked any witnesses, victims or anyone with information about the shooter to contact the police department at 513-765-1212 or Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040.