KCPD: Celebratory gunfire a recipe for disaster

Marc LaVoie
December 31, 2018 - 6:54 am

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The Kansas City Police Department is once again asking people to refrain from firing guns in the air to celebrate the new year. 

It happens every year at New Year's and Independence Day. People engage in celebratory gunfire, without regard for where the projectile will land. 

One man who knows about the danger is Frank Ellison, whose home was hit by a bullet last Fourth of July. 

"I looked up and saw a hole coming through the ceiling," Ellison said. "I knew then what it was."

The bullet came through the roof not far from Ellison's grandson, who was watching television. No one was hurt. Bullets damaged three homes last July, according to Kansas City Police. Eleven-year-old Blair Shanahan Lane was killed by a stray bullet near 43rd and Pittman Road on July 4, 2011.

"It happens every year -- it's the reason I keep talking about it," said Sgt. Jacob Becchina, Kansas City Police. "Some people think that (the bullet) just goes nowhere."

Police urge citizens to report celebratory gunfire. Firing a gun into the air is a crime punishable by up to a year in prison. More serious charges can be filed if a person or property is struck.

Police will use Shotspotter technology to help them locate where gunfire takes place.

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