Trending 'Assassin' TikTok game 'could get someone hurt or killed', police say

A trending TikTok game with virtually no rules is going to get someone killed or arrested, police warned. 

Law enforcement and educators around the country are warning parents and community members about the new social media challenge called “Senior Assassin,” where players “tag” or “hit” their targets while running around their neighborhoods. 

It started with a physical tag or water guns, but the challenge escalated to where players – typically high school age – are using paintball and air soft guns that look like real firearms, and videos of the “hits” are uploaded.

But the “hits” look like real violent crimes. In one incident, a player broke into another player’s home, according to Police Chief Scott Rifenberg in Cheboygan County, Michigan. In another instance, ski-mask-wearing players ran through a restaurant and came face to face with a licensed concealed pistol carrier.


Participants in "Senior Assassin" are tasked with hunting and tagging other players, usually with a water gun, to eliminate them. This often includes hiding and waiting, which usually looks suspicious, police warned.

Participants in “Senior Assassin” are tasked with hunting and tagging other players, usually with a water gun, to eliminate them. This often includes hiding and waiting, which usually looks suspicious, police warned. (Adobe Stock)

“This could get someone hurt or killed,” Cheboygan County Sheriff Tim Cook said in a joint warning with Chief Rifenberg. “If another individual believes a person’s life is being threatened and takes action on their own believing they are witnessing some sort of assault with a deadly weapon, as some of these toy guns have the appearance of a real firearm.”

The local Michigan PSA was published in Tuesday’s Facebook post, but the game is playing out in neighborhoods across the country. 


A Pennsylvania reporter wrote about the trend in a first-person story for the York Daily Record going back to last May. 

“I was folding laundry when I heard kids screaming near the area of my backyard,” Angel Albring wrote. “I stepped out onto my balcony to see several teenagers crouched down in the alleyway behind my yard. 

“They were all wearing dark clothing and hoodies, hoods, and carrying what looked to be guns from my distance.”

Two guns, sidewalk

The Village of Bartlett in Illinois shared a photo of two guns, cautioning residents about a high school “Senior Assassins” game. (Village of Bartlett – Illinois/Facebook)

Luckily, Albring said she saw enough of their faces and recognized them as kids from the neighborhood. But that might not always be the case, law enforcement and educators warn, as the game’s antics are becoming increasingly more dangerous.

“Around the country, it is being played in neighborhoods, around towns, in business, and it is also occurring in moving vehicles,” Rifenberg said. 

In the Cheboygan area, 40 to 50 students from the area schools were playing last week, and one student “tried to escape a hit” in a car and backed into another car. 


“We realized the students are out just trying to have fun, but this game is just way too dangerous to play in and around a community or school,” area police said in a statement.

Two weeks ago, police in Satellite Beach, Florida issued a similar warning after a flood of 911 calls. 

“Our officers respond to each of these 911 calls without knowledge of whether this is an incident of students just having fun or an actual crime,” Satellite Beach police said in a statement. 

People using water guns

Players’ water guns can be mistaken for real weapons, police have warned. (Adobe Stock)

Police in Satellite Beach, Florida, warned about "Senior Assassin" TikTok game.

Police in Satellite Beach, Florida, warned about “Senior Assassin” TikTok game.  (Satellite Beach Police Department)

Virginia school leaders sent a letter to parents in mid-April about the game. “In stressful or high-pressure situations, it can be very difficult to quickly differentiate a toy gun from a real firearm. This confusion can lead to misidentification and potentially tragic consequences,” educators said, according to NBC Washington

The game escalated to a point where Philadelphia took legislative measures that banned ski masks around city schools, day cares, rec centers, parks, city-owned buildings and on public transportation, according to a December report by NBC Philadelphia.

Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report. 

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