NORTH MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – It happens almost every New Year’s Eve in South Florida–“celebratory” shots are fired into the sky. But actions have consequences, and that bullet can end up turning a celebration into a tragedy.
Just last year, a man was hit by a bullet shot as a means of celebration on New Year’s Eve.READ MORE: CBS4 Exclusive: Hit-&-Run Victim Says Insurance Company Denied Claim Despite Police Report From Incident
“These AKs, these choppers, start to go off at midnight and I hate to see a family wake up in the morning and a little kid, their little son or daughter has been struck by a bullet,” said Reverend Jerome Starling.
Officials, for the 16th year in a row, want to remind gun owners that bullets shot into the sky must come down—and they can take someone’s life when they do.
“I’m begging and pleading that you will put down these guns, stop the violence and understand one mentality: what goes up will come down,” said the Reverend.READ MORE: South Florida Lawmakers Calling On Governor To Reconsider Plan To Send Law Enforcement Resources To Border States
Regardless of officials’ efforts to prevent the tragic accidents from occurring, year after year the request is ignored and gun shots are fired in the air.
Police also want to remind gun owners that firing a gun should not happen in celebration. In fact—it is a crime.
“If you fire a bullet someone is going to get hurt and the person discharging that firearm is it is going to go to jail,” said Miami Police Department Chief Jorge Gomez.MORE NEWS: Tropical Storm Warning Issued For Northern Gulf Coast Ahead Of Potential Tropical Depression Three
Police will be out patrolling in full force on the eve of the New Year. Also, police ask that if anyone sees someone carrying a gun or hears gunfire to call 9-1-1.