Police warn against celebratory gunfire during the holidays

Police warn against celebratory gunfire during the holidays

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Video surveillance captured the frightening moments when Shelby County Schools board member Michelle McKissack and her husband were nearly struck by a stray bullet on New Year’s Eve.

The video shows McKissack beside the car then she suddenly ducks.

“We were leaving the house and just about to open the door to get in the car, I hear this loud, really loud pop,” said McKissack.

McKissack and her husband were visiting family on South Front Street around 7:30 when it happened.

At first, they didn’t know what to think.

”It became extremely real when we saw that bullet just lying a foot from where my husband was standing on the side walk,” said McKissack.

The stray bullet landed on the windshield shattering a portion of the glass.

"Thank god it was just a windshield, you know? Easily replaceable, but I shutter to think at what could have happened,” said McKissack.

Memphis police say it’s during holidays like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July that gunfire-related calls increase.

Police say firing a gun for celebratory reasons is careless, illegal in the city and extremely dangerous.

"What goes up must come down. Be responsible for your actions,” said Memphis Police Colonel Keith Watson.

MPD says bullets can travel long distances and could injure or kill.

If someone is caught firing a gun for celebratory reasons, officers could issue ordinance violations, misdemeanor citations or make an arrest.

As for McKissack, she's just grateful this moment didn't turn into tragedy and hopes her story will make others think twice before firing shots.

"This is serious. There’s nothing celebratory about firing a gun into the air because you just don’t know the consequences,” said McKissack.

Some Midtown residents like Ron Marion say they heard gunfire late Tuesday night in the Cooper-Young area.

Police see increase in gunfire calls during the holidays

Marion says he was home, but checked on his friends and family after the gunfire made him uneasy.

"Be mindful of people and where you're at and what areas you live in because residential areas are just not safe to do that. Bullets can go through ceilings and through roofs,” said Ron Marion, Cooper-Young resident.

MPD says officers do respond to these calls, but often the person responsible has already left the area before officers arrive.

As far as this New Year’s Eve, police are not aware of any injuries being reported from stray bullets.

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