Neighbors, Police Trying To Stop Celebratory Gunfire

DALLAS (CBS11) – It is not just the fireworks that first responders are worried about on the Fourth of July.

Celebratory gunfire is not only dangerous, but it is illegal.

Dallas Police said in 2016, officers responded to 400 calls regarding random gunfire over the Independence Day holiday.

Some residents in Oak Cliff are now fighting back, hoping to silence the gunfire.

“Usually there’s the moment of, was that on the TV? Was that really gunfire that I heard?” said Mark Hedman, an Oak Cliff resident.

Hedman and other neighbors have had enough of the celebratory gunfire.

“There are people in your community that these bullets are coming down on,” said Hedman. “They don’t go off into infinity.”

He and other said they become surrounded by people on the Fourth of July choosing to celebrate with a trigger and a nozzle pointed to the sky.

“There is kind of a helpless feeling when you talk to people about it,” said Hedman.

To help police prevent another home or person from being hit, he and a few neighbors have created an online form.

If folks hear someone fire off shots into the air, they can anonymously report them.

“Some people are scared to confront their neighbors about it,” said Hedman.

The data is then given to the Dallas Police Department which can then send officers out and educate.

“A bullet has no name. You don’t know where it’s going to go,” said Sr. Cpl. DeMarquis Black of the Dallas Police Department.

Black said any help from the public only makes the community safer.

“People might say, ‘Oh it won’t happen to me.’ It can happen,” said Black.

According to Dallas Police, a shooter can face a $4,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

Police also said that if someone kills someone else, the shooter can face manslaughter and anywhere from two to ten years in prison.

Hedman was not sure if the website has silenced the gunfire, but he saidthat he feels it is a start.

“We have to do something,” said Hedman. “We cannot just be blasé about it.”

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