FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were particularly busy for Fresno Police officers, with hundreds of ShotSpotter alerts received.
From 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day there were over 340 guns shot off in the city limits – letting off approximately 1700 rounds. Fresno Police received around 1000 calls.
“Did you hear that,” said Lt. Stephen Viveros as he played a recording from Fresno Police Department’s ShotSpotter. “That was one of the 342 activations that we had last night.”
The celebratory gunfire might seem like fun to ring in the New Year, but it is extremely dangerous.
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people hit by a falling bullet were most likely to be struck in the head.
That is exactly what happened to a 28-year-old Fresno woman. Police said she was sitting in her backyard when a bullet fell from the sky and grazed her head. It was not shot off by someone on her property. Police said she went to the hospital with minor injuries and will be okay.
“Imagine the victim,” said Viveros. “If she would have been an inch to the left or an inch to the right. Our story could have been different this morning.”
Viveros said the department plans on investigating all of the shooting incidents from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day, which is made a lot easier by the city’s Shot Spotter system.
Not only does it identify the type of gun, but it also records how many rounds were fired and pins a location where the gun was fired.
“It is very important for the public to know it is not safe to fire off a gun in a highly populated city,” said Viveros. “If we are able to locate who fire off these weapons, they are going to be looking at a felony.”
The felony charge could mean up to three years in jail.