MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – For some people, fireworks aren’t enough to celebrate the Fourth of July. They choose to fire guns into the air.
It’s a dangerous practice that can kill people, because innocent bystanders can get hit by falling bullets.
That’s why Miami-Dade leaders met in front of the Joseph Caleb Center on Thursday morning to make a plea.
“Let’s celebrate responsibly,” county commissioner Esteban Bovo said.
“What goes up must come down and we have to stop the celebratory shooting,” added James Dobson, chief of the Opa-locka Police Department. “One bullet may kill. It may not be your family, but your neighbor or someone down the street.”
Last year, a man at a Lauderhill condominium was setting off July 4 fireworks when he was hit in the leg by what his family members believe was a stray bullet. Fortunately, he survived.
“I’m glad that I was the one who got hit and not one of my kids or my daughter, you know what I’m saying? My wife’s pregnant and everything,” said gunshot victim Thomas Glasco.
Police say they are increasing patrols in an effort to curb the celebratory gunfire.
“If you’re caught discharging a firearm in public, you will be charged and taken to jail,” said Miami Police Department Assistant Chief Manuel Morales.
The annual message is part of a campaign combating gun violence in general, called “One Bullet Kills The Party.”
“The One Bullet Kills The Party campaign came about after an argument took place at a gathering in Overtown and gunfire during a party,” said Miami-Dade Commission Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson. “In an instant, a family get-together became a crime scene. A celebration became a nightmare and lives have never the same again.”