COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH)– It’s illegal, but still so many people shoot celebratory gunshots for the New Year.
Law enforcement sent out several warnings and now thanks to a new piece of technology they might be able to track down the people responsible.
In three days shot-spotter has picked up 359 alerts for shots being fired with 341 of those shots fired happening in the past 24 hours, which includes New Year’s Eve.
“It’s scary,” said Columbus Division of Police Deputy Chief Richard Bash. “People should not have to huddle in their house at midnight when they’re celebrating to keep from being hit by celebratory gunfire from some people that clearly so self-absorbed that they don’t care about anybody else.”
He said if you exclude what investigators consider celebratory shooting, there were 18 alerts for gunshot in three days, which highlights a problem with firing your gun for the New Year.
“At least 1,000 projectiles that we identified here are falling someplace in maybe a car, maybe a pet, or into a house, and maybe on a child,” said Bash.
Shot-spotter can record the gunshots as and even predict the number of shots fired.
“So, the scientist were able to identify 40 gunshots that they were sure were gunshots,” said Bash.
It gives investigators more evidence to find the person and weapon involved.
Bash said because of this technology Columbus police are able to begin their investigation before reports of injuries or property damages are filed.
“In the next few days we’re probably going to have someone notice a bullet-hole in their car that they didn’t notice before, or some damage to their home, or their pet.”
Damages that can cost homeowners.
ShotSpotter can record the sound of gunshots and pinpoint when and where the gunshots took place.
Deputy Chief Bash said because of the information they recover from the devices, their officers can go out to the areas where gunshots were detected to find witnesses, shell casings, and more.
“We’ll take a look and we might have a neighborhood safety camera there, or somebody might have a doorbell camera,” said Bash.
Cameras that could place people or cars in the area of the gunshots, which ultimately can lead to an arrest and to remove guns off the streets.
“If someone was out there firing expect that we’re going to be knocking on your doors in the next couple of weeks.”
The penalty for celebratory shooting is a misdemeanor and you can spend time in jail or pay a $1,000 fine.
Police also urge people to be on the look out for bullet-holes in your property which could have happened last night before of all of the shooting.