DALLAS (CBS11) – As Dallas Police make plans to crack down on celebratory gunfire, many residents say the problem is already getting worse the closer we get to New Year’s Eve.
Some Oak Cliff homeowners tell CBS11 they’ve been hearing the shots more and more since Christmas, along with illegal fireworks, and they hope police warnings about the penalties will have an impact before someone gets hurt.
Ivan Cuellar said he remembers hearing gunfire leading up to New Year’s Eve when he moved into his Elmwood neighborhood last year, but this year the arrival of his newborn daughter has him much more worried about it.
“Last night we heard sounds going off, and my first concern was I want her as close to me as possible. I’d rather have something hit me than hit her,” Cuellar said.
Those concerns have Cuellar in virtual ‘tornado mode’ several times a day.
“Stay indoors. If anything it’s going to hit the roof first. It’s going to hit something else hopefully second and try to ricochet versus being outside, and just stay close to the family,” he said.
Dallas Police are warning anyone shooting guns into the air that their bullets could hurt someone on the way back down.
“If a stray bullet from your gun should kill someone you can and will be charged with manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide,” Dallas Police Major Jimmy Vaughan said.
During the last several days, Cuellar and his neighbors have been calling 911 and keeping each other informed on social media when they hear shots fired.
A recent call led police to kids shooting fireworks nearby, but it’s the bullets residents hope police can stop from flying.
“If it’s illegal to pop fireworks, it’s obviously not legal to shoot guns, and it endangers, and it harms other people and their lives and their families, it could ruin them,” Cuellar said.
Police are asking neighbors to report gunshots with as much specific information as possible in terms of when and where, but they also urge people not to endanger themselves by getting too close while investigating.
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