Police Departments from Arlington Heights, Gurnee, Other Communities Advise Against “Senior Assassins” Game

Alert also advises concealed carry holders to be extra careful

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A game played by suburban teenagers is now drawing some very real safety concerns (FOX 32 Chicago). YouTube Tips ⓘ

Police departments nationwide are advising against a game known as “Senior Assassins” or “Senior Assassin” that can be mistaken for a real threat. The game behavior often involves stalking, simulated assaults, traffic violations, trespassing, criminal damage to property, mistaken identities, mistaken threats, and is considered a danger to the community.

The Gurnee Police Department addressed concerns Wednesday morning, April 10, 2023 involving the incidents occurring nationwide and involving an incident associated with the game that occurred in Gurnee.

According to the Gurnee Police Department, on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, a group of high school students from a neighboring community entered a local restaurant wearing ski masks and displaying water guns resembling firearms. They were targeting other students who were dining in the restaurant and were attempting to spray the restaurant patrons with water.

An adult, who was a concealed carry holder, in the restaurant mistook the situation for a genuine threat, and the situation could have escalated quickly. The gravity of the situation cannot be emphasized enough; it had the potential to lead to serious consequences, according to Gurnee police.

According to the Gurnee Police Department’s understanding, the game involves the formation of teams for a tournament-style competition, with participants eliminating opposing teams by “tagging” them with water guns. It’s common for players to wear ski masks to catch their opponents off guard.

The Gurnee Police Department would like to emphasize that the depiction of firearms, whether real or imitation, in any public setting, is a matter of concern and may instill fear among the public. We urge community members to reconsider their participation in such activities and recognize the seriousness of their actions.

Incidents like these may warrant Disorderly Conduct charges, as they often cause feelings of being alarmed and disturbed by others.

We appreciate the continued support of our community and encourage individuals to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities promptly. Remember, if you “See Something, Say Something.”

Arlington Heights

The Arlington Heights Police Department conveyed important information to community members by making citizens aware of an on-line, live action game called “Senior Assassin.” According to the Arlington Heights Police Department, this game is played by high school students throughout the country, including in Arlington Heights.

“Senior Assassin” is an annual springtime tradition for students, especially seniors. Participants attempt to forego match elimination by squirting other players using a water gun with a goal of being the last person remaining in the game.

Game rules specify the activity cannot take place during school hours or on school property. Players attempt to locate their opponents at various sites including home, local parks, and other gathering spaces within the community. Students will often hide in odd spots, chase targets through yards and appear suddenly in a vehicle or on foot.

The Arlington Heights Police Department announced Friday, April 5, 2024, that the police department does not condone or support cited objectives in this game. The concept is not against the law or a local ordinance, but some activities associated with the game involve traffic violations; or are unlawful (e.g., trespass and disorderly conduct). The police department asks that everyone play safely, use common sense and recognize how players’ actions may be perceived by members of the community. The unintentional result of participants running throughout the community with a water gun, some often resembling a look-alike firearm, could have deadly consequences. The State of Illinois has increasing numbers of individuals who possess a Concealed Carry License; an ability to carry a concealed firearm in public for self-defense. We are alerting residents that this spring time game has begun. The Police Department has received calls regarding associated activity. One such call resulted in a significant police response based on a homeowner reporting a “man with a gun” running through their residential yard. Please do not assume any similar suspicious activity observed is related to this game. Any unusual activity should be reported immediately by calling 9-1-1.

“We encourage parents to talk to their children about safety concerns linked to openly carrying a squirt gun that resembles a look-alike firearm and being on private property without permission,” the police department wrote in the announcement on Facebook. Consider the perception an uninformed resident who sees a person rapidly displaying a replica firearm in a populated common area. That action could be viewed as ‘Alarming and Disturbing’ which are elements of a criminal offense and/or local ordinance violation – Disorderly Conduct.

The Police Department understands there is excitement and anticipation as the school year comes to a conclusion. We request all students to please be mindful of their actions.

— Arlington Heights Police Department

While authorized concealed carry members are likely to show restraint and avoid mistakenly acting in self-defense to “Senior Assassin” game activities, criminal actors could be more likely to act out against figures they might mistakenly perceive as rival gang members — especially in the dark.

CARDINAL NEWS has witnessed “Senior Assassin” players stalking their subjects, speeding with rapid acceleration and abrupt vehicle stops, blocking roadways with unattended vehicles, stalking and hiding in vehicles around street corners, running up on ‘victims’ while appearing to be armed, and trespassing on properties of people who are not involved in the game.

“Senior Assassin” players should consider how their game activity could be perceived by a paranoid gang member, or a mentally ill person that is armed with some type of weapon, and who intends to protect their property or personal space.

Contrarily, actual criminal activity could be mistaken as harmless “Senior Assassin” game activity.


Arlington Heights Police Department announcement (Facebook)

Gurnee Police Department announcement (Facebook)

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