With 2019 just hours away, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Monday issued its annual reminder against celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve, warning everyone that not only is doing so a crime — it could have potentially deadly consequences.
“The adage of ‘what goes up, must come down’ rings especially true in this case,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. “The danger of injuring someone with firing even a single round into the air is a lethal prospect.”
In one recent incident, according to sheriff’s officials, a 12-year-old girl in Norwalk was hit and seriously injured by a falling bullet.
And last New Year’s Eve and Day — despite warnings from multiple law enforcement agencies in the L.A. area — deputies responded to hundreds of “illegal shooting” reports throughout the county, neighboring contract cities and unincorporated areas, the release stated.
“These calls tax our resources, which could be more effectively utilized responding to other public safety and life threatening emergencies,” the agency said.
New Year’s revelers caught shooting into the air could potentially face a felony charge, the Sheriff’s Department warned.
In the Norwalk incident, the shooter was arrested and sentenced to several years in prison, authorities said.
“Willfully discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is a violation of section 246.3(a) of the California Penal Code,” the release stated.
Officials urged anyone who sees someone firing a gun in public to take cover and call 911 — but do so without confronting the shooter.