Local News

Police sound alarm against 'celebratory gunfire' on New Year's Eve

Posted December 31, 2020 5:05 a.m. EST

— The morning ahead of New Year's Eve, police across the Triangle are sounding the alarm about 'celebratory gunfire.'

This year, innocent bystanders have been hit and killed by celebratory gunfire, especially on holidays when fireworks can mask the sound of gunshots.

While New Year's Eve is different this year – you won't see the streets flooded with thousands of people, and many celebrations are canceled – police are still sending a message about safety while ringing in the new year.

This week, Raleigh Police tweeted this message about celebratory gunfire, reminding people that discharging any type of firearm is illegal.

The Orange County Sheriff's department shared a similar message.

Last December, police also issued a warning against celebratory gunfire. However, at First Night in Raleigh, a UNC student named Kaitlyn Kong was seriously injured when shots were fired into the air.

Tragedy struck again on the Fourth of July, when a Durham grandmother was killed when she was struck by celebratory gunfire while walking home.

Kong survived her injuries and had a message for the community on the anniversary of the day she was struck by that stray bullet.

"I'm not as frustrated as I am just hopeful that they won't do it again," she said.

You can be criminally charged if a bullet hit someone or damages property.

Law enforcement are also warning people about drinking and driving if traveling from one private celebration to another.​

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