Police warn against firing guns on New Year’s Eve

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) -Law enforcement agencies across Tampa Bay plan to be on “high alert” New Year’s Eve making sure everyone to ring in the New Year with a (safe) bang.

“I looked back and the entire back of my car window was smashed out,” As 2018 became 2019, Jenee St. John became the victim of celebratory gunfire.

In her case, her back SUV window took the hit. But it could have been her.

“I would like to know where they’re getting their guns from.  And why there are so confident and why the gunshots were so prevalent last night,” said St.John.

The Tampa Police Department recently posted a PSA reminding those in the Bay area that celebratory gunfire is dangerous.

“A single bullet fired into the air, can come down at speeds up to 300 feet per second.  The result: property damage, injury or even death anywhere within a 2-mile radius of the shot” said the announcer on the PSA.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan put out this warning: “Don’t ruin a good time with dangerous unnecessary celebratory gunfire.”

Like in year’s past, revelers will gather at Straub Park in St. Petersburg for “First Night St. Petersburg” to watch fireworks.

Some residents have choice words for those who shoot their guns on New Year’s Eve.

“I think there’s absolutely no reason to shoot a gun in the air as a celebration. That’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous in 2019 when you have so many other options to celebrate” said Cara Ristau.

“In residential neighborhoods where it’s bound to happen, it’s not the best idea. Bullets go up. They have to come down somewhere” said Othello Cheeks.

And because of that, Jenee St. John will be ringing in the New Year indoors.

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