‘You can end a life:’ Sheriff warns against celebratory gunfire

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 9:33 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 10:19 PM CDT
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WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA) - Law enforcement officials say the sound of gunshots ringing out in the night is far too common around the Fourth of July.

“We’ve had rounds that have hit a barn. We’ve had rounds that have gone through a trailer. We’ve had rounds gone into a house,” said Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin.

Celebratory gunfire is when people fire their weapons recklessly, and often in the air.

Sometimes shots are fired around residential areas, which can create a hazard for innocent families.

“It would devastate us,” said Elmore County resident and grandmother of six Shana Little.

While some may view celebratory gunfire as an alternative to fireworks, the Elmore County sheriff explained it can not only be dangerous, but also deadly.

“Depending on where it lands and who’s struck, warrants can be issued, we have to find out who fired the rounds off,” Franklin said.

Law enforcement added the shooters are sometimes intoxicated.

In one instance, the sheriff said someone was drunk and wielding a bow and arrow. They fired it into the sky.

“You can end a life like that,” he said. “The odd thing was, a unique thing was, there were some people that knew and saw what was going on. They scattered. Then you had a few people that didn’t see.”

No one was reportedly injured, but that night could have ended much differently.

It is a warning for those this holiday weekend not to chance it because law enforcement will be listening.

The sheriff added those who participate in celebratory gunfire can be charged with assault, manslaughter or even reckless murder.

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