Dangers Of Celebrating New Year With Gunfire Stressed By Miami Mayor

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As thousands of people prepare to ring in the New Year, city leaders want to remind everyone to avoid doing something senseless that can ruin the celebration.

City leaders spoke out on Thursday, encouraging people to help eliminate celebratory gunfire over the holiday weekend.

Every year, loud popping sounds and explosions can be heard throughout the day and night leading up to the New Year.

People will ring in 2017 by setting off firecrackers, waving sparklers and even firing guns into the air.

“Do not fire your weapons up in the air. It is illegal and it is dangerous,” said Freddie Cruz with the Miami Police Department.

Local leaders are reminding us all that celebrating the New Year by firing live rounds into the air is illegal, and it can kill.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), bullets shot into the air can climb up to two miles before falling at a rate of 300 to 700 feet per second.

The mayor of Miami wants anyone thinking about it to know they have spotters that will track you down.

“The shot spotters that are located in this area have been very successful in determining the origin and the site of any shooting that happens in this neighborhood,” said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

The celebratory gunfire has become a loose tradition here in the Miami area and police say it needs to stop.

“If you see someone firing in the air, you see any illegal gun activity, please call the police at 471-TIPS or call 9-1-1,” said Alfredo Ramirez with the Miami PD.

Nine-year-old Sherdavia Jenkins was shot and killed by a stray bullet while she was out playing in front of her home in Liberty City during Independence Day celebrations in 2006.

And Rickia Isaac was hit in the head by a stray bullet in January of 1997 while walking home from a Martin Luther King Day parade, and died.

The then kindergartner would have celebrated her 25th birthday this year.

The lives of two innocent girls cut short, all because of senseless individuals firing a gun into the air to celebrate a holiday.

The Miami Police Department says they will have more man power on duty, monitoring gunfire through updated technology that can pinpoint where the weapon was fired.

If anyone is caught, they will be arrested and charged.

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