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Holiday gunfire nearly kills Cumberland woman

Posted January 3, 2011

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— A Cumberland County man wants people to stop using gunfire to celebrate holidays after a stray bullet tore through his bedroom on New Year's Eve and barely missed hitting his wife.

Bob Marriott said Monday that he and his wife were watching television during the final minutes of 2010 when the gunshot shattered a bedroom window.

"We heard 'bang,' and the wife felt some sort of breeze go by her ear," Marriott said. "She had that startled look in her face."

The bullet ended up in a closet wall, and Marriott's wife remains shaken by the incident.

"If she'd been sitting in this chair, maybe a little bit over – six inches – she'd have been taken out," Marriott said.

He said he grabbed his gun and ran outside to find the shooter, but he didn't see anybody.

Investigators with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said they don't believe the couple was targeted, and they are treating the case as random gunfire. They had no suspects as of Monday evening.

Bullet hole Holiday gunfire nearly kills Cumberland woman

Marriott said he has heard gunshots in the neighborhood before, including previous New Year's Eve and Fourth of July celebrations. He said the stray bullet was probably gunfire to ring in the new year.

"This was not up in the air. This was somebody who maybe had a misfire or whatever," he said.

Spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said the sheriff's office gets complaints of shots fired every New Year's Eve, and she said Marriott's case should remind people of the danger of random gunfire.

"Those bullets have to land somewhere," Tanna said.

Marriott said it's only a matter of time before such celebrations end up in a fatality.

"It has to stop because somebody's going to get killed," he said. "Fireworks are great. The color in the sky is great. But guns firing? No."


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  • _Graysons_Mommy_ Jan 5, 2011

    I want to know what neighborhood, I swear I heard gun shots in mine too...

  • leroyw93 Jan 4, 2011

    Thank God no one was hurt. Shooting guns on New Year's Eve and 4th of July is stupid!

  • pinehorse Jan 4, 2011

    This is actually standard practice in bigger cities for gang members, etc... They can't legally own the stolen guns they're carrying so they use any excuse they can to shoot them. They're not concerned about anyone else's safety and never will be.

  • rebecca7 Jan 4, 2011

    What is wrong with people, guns, and their stupidity down here?

    It's everywhere... not just here. I've lived HERE all my life and this is the first I've ever heard of this happening. It's not like it happens daily... it was a fluke occurrence that could have happened anywhere.

    Crazy, nonetheless. Guns should not really be used to celebrate... self defense, war, etc... sure, but not to celebrate new years. Especially if there's alcohol involved.

  • dlk13ster Jan 4, 2011

    What happened to the good ol' days when people practiced responsible gun ownership?

    It used to be the only people who accidentally got shot were people cleaning their guns without knowing what they were doing, kids who found their dad's 9mm "cleverly" hidden in a shoebox under the bed, people who were mistaken for gang members in inner city areas, or people who decided to go "plinking" without being sober enough to legally drive.

    Now, we've added "random strangers sitting in their own homes" to the list of possible fatalities.

    I'm glad no one was hurt.

    THIS time.

  • commonsense4 Jan 4, 2011

    I lived on Long Island most of my life and not once did this happen anywhere near me.

    What is wrong with people, guns, and their stupidity down here?

  • illegals--GO HOME Jan 3, 2011

    You can fix stupid!!! It's a shame they don't have pills they can give these stupid people......no concern for their fellow man/woman at all. Could have been a kid in that chair....what if it had been a friend or relative of theirs this happened too. They would have been the first ones complaining........just plain stupid.

  • RonnieR Jan 3, 2011

    When I was younger, and now, if I still did it, I used blanks. Makes the noise and no danger to anyone.

  • wildcat Jan 3, 2011

    There is a better way of bringing in the New Year without shooting a loaded gun up in the air. Its not safe and can and will kill someone. Do you want to go to prison because you were having "fun" and killed someone? I don't think so.

  • wildcat Jan 3, 2011

    But hey, it's all in good fun, right? NOT!

    Not when it harms or kills someone. There is no fun in that. This certainly needs to stop.