Chicago man who lost eye in paintball attack speaks out

WGN Investigates

CHICAGO — A Southwest Side man lost his left eye in a recent paintball attack.

Now, for the first time, Jorge Morales shares his story with WGN Investigates in hopes whoever shot him will hear it and not pull the trigger again.

“In the beginning, I thought this is a real gun,” Morales said.  

The 44-year-old father of two was waiting for the bus on Pulaski Road near 24th Street on Oct. 29 when someone fired at him from inside a car.

A paintball hit his eye, causing severe damage. The injury has left him unable to continue working as a window installer.

He is not alone. Police says dozens of people were injured in Chicago during a rash of attacks this fall.

They eventually arrested six people. But Morales’ attackers have not been found.

I can see with one eye, but it’s not the same when you have your two eyes,” Morales said. “The doctor told me with your left eye – you are not going to see no more.”

He shared a video with WGN Investigates of himself moments after the attack. The graphic images give a sense of the force and impact of the shot.

Locally, police said paintball attacks have quieted. But reports of similar occurrences continue nationwide, in places such as South Florida, New Jersey and Washington where a police detective was recently hit.

Police said they’re continuing to look for Morales’ attacker.

His friends started a Go Fund Me page to raise money to help his family until Morales recovers enough to return to work.


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