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Metro Detroit community leaders urge residents to put away guns on New Year’s Eve

Celebratory gunfire is illegal, dangerous

Ring in the New Year with a bell, not a bang
Ring in the New Year with a bell, not a bang

METRO DETROIT – Reverend Nicholas Hood, III, along with former Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon and other local leaders are urging residents to not bring in the New Year with celebratory gunfire.

Each year, Hood has held a press conference alongside community leaders to encourage Michiganders to “Ring in the New Year with a Bell, Not a Bang,” but due to the COVID pandemic, a public service announcement has been recorded instead.

The campaign was started in 1997 after Sandra Latham, a Detroit grandmother, was killed by celebratory gunfire sitting in her dinning room. For the 23rd year, Hood is asking residents to put away their guns and find a safer way to bring in the new year.

After New Year’s Day 2020, an investigation into celebratory gunfire by Detroit police found more than 250 shell casings from one group of people, leading to nine arrests.

On Dec. 31, 2018, a Detroit ambulance was struck by celebratory gunfire while on a run, breaking the windshield and taking the vehicle out of service for repairs.

Video from Jan. 1, 2020 captured celebratory gunfire for nearly three minutes.

Incidents from celebratory gunfire isn’t limited to Metro Detroit. A college student in North Carolina after midnight Jan. 1 2019. A Texas lawmaker nearly lost his life after a celebratory bullet stuck him Jan. 1, 2017. It stopped 2 millimeters from entering his brain.

A 61-year-old nurse was killed in Houston Jan 1. 2020 when celebratory gunfire struck her in the neck.

7-year-old Brandon Mackey was killed on Independence Day 2013 in Virginia. 10-year-old Alliyah Boyer was killed by celebratory gunfire in 2012.

In 2005, celebratory gunfire from a wedding in Serbia struck the engine of a passing airplane, causing it to erupt into flames, seriously injuring its occupants.

You can watch the “Ring in the New Year with a Bell, Not a Bang” call to action in the video player above.


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