Police: Celebratory gunfire has no place on the Fourth of July

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Indianapolis Metropolitan Police are reminding everyone that it’s dangerous and illegal to fire celebratory gunshots on the Fourth of July.

“I do know that we responded to several shots fired runs last year,” said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Hewitt. “Between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight on the 3rd, and then again throughout the day on July 4.”

Indianapolis City Ordinance bans celebratory or recreational gunfire within city limits.

“The only reason anyone should fire a weapon inside city limits is if they’re in fear of their life in self-defense,” Hewitt said.

Still, it happens every year—and not just on Independence Day. New Year’s Eve saw several Indianapolis homes hit by stray gunfire. In one case, a bullet crashed through a window and landed on a bed where a 3-year-old girl was sleeping.

Last year, a Greenwood woman was driving home from the downtown fireworks display with her hand hanging out her car window. After feeling a sudden, sharp pain, she went to a hospital to get checked out. An x-ray revealed a .22 caliber slug lodged in her palm.

“You know, if it hits you in the head or the shoulder or neck area, it very well could be fatal,” Hewitt said.

In Detroit last year, 34-year old Michelle Packard was killed after being struck in the head by a bullet falling from the sky. It was later determined that the bullet had been fired about a mile away.

Police say if a stray bullet hits your home or property, you should leave it alone and call them. They will collect it for evidence and try to match it with the gun that fired it.

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