SULPHUR, La. (KPLC) - Fall season usually represents holidays and countless gatherings. For most teenagers, it’s filled with coveted high school homecoming week events, especially those infamous junior-senior wars.
“My one prayer is that they learn from the experience and the severity of how things can go wrong very quickly," said Lena Mcarthur.
What was supposed to be a night of harmless fun turned out to be anything but for Sulphur High Junior Kayden McArthur.
“I can’t lift anything over 10 pounds, I can’t run, can’t lay on my back, I have to lay on my side..I still have gas bubbles in my eye," said Kayden.
High school homecoming weeks have been known to honor many traditions...
What was once toilet paper into the trees and egged houses has now turned into numerous pranks including paintball wars between junior and senior classes.
“We got ambushed, when we were going to leave," McArthur said. "Whenever they started shooting, we shot back, we were there for like two hours shooting. I got hit 6 times, we thought it was all good, the next day my eye was swollen shut.”
McArthur was shot 6 times in his right eye with a paintball gun.
The days after the incident was filled with countless doctors’ visits and worry, not only for Kaden but his grandmother, who said doctors told her, her quick action in getting him to a hospital might have saved his eye.
“We get to Baton Rouge and I’m a bundle of nerves, trying to stay strong," said Lena McArthur. "The doctor says ‘this is super dangerous..every person that I’ve experienced this with, I’ve had to remove the eye’.”
Kaden said he wasn’t wearing protective eye gear at the time of the incident, which has now resulted in a change in his normal routine...
“It hurts seeing and trying to drive at night."
Although still in the recovery phase, he and his grandmother said they aren’t upset, because it was an accident and those involved have owned up to their part.
Mcarthur said by sharing his experience, it could help others know the dangers behind paintball guns if not used properly.
Doctors told Kayden he still has a way to go but they believe his eye will make a full recovery.
As for the paintball war tradition, the local District Attorney’s office states Louisiana has no regulation in place regarding the use of paintball guns by minors. However, in certain cases, some could be charged with battery or simple damage to property.