Police: Celebratory gunfire tarnishes New Year’s Eve

File(AP Photo)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Celebratory gunfire during the holidays continues to injure innocent bystanders. Experts say New Year’s Eve is one of the worst holidays for careless folks to randomly fire into the air.

NBC4 spoke with one young lady who survived a bullet wound to the chest. She said she will carry that scar mentally and physically for life.

rick-and-woanJasmine Coleman-Sammur was 16 years old at the time she was shot. An investigator told her the bullet was fired from a long distance.

It was during the 2009 Red, White & BOOM! celebration when Coleman-Sammur said she was with friends watching fireworks just like thousands of others.

“If I wouldn’t have stood up, the bullet would have hit me in the back of my head,” said Jasmine Coleman-Sammur.

Within seconds, she said she felt a sharp pain in her chest.

“I looked down and said, “Oh, I have a hole in my shirt.” I looked inside and saw a lot of blood, it kind of looked like a bunch of ketchup exploded,” Coleman-Sammur said.

She is one of a growing number of people shot by celebratory gunfire randomly aimed at the sky.

“It just seems that they keep doing it, (that) it is fun. It really is not, it is so dangerous, because what goes up must come down and you never know where it is going to land,” said Coleman-Sammur.

Columbus police and Lamar Advertising put up 18 billboards throughout the city cautioning people against shooting firearms in celebration.

“This is not a safe practice and it is against the law,” said Sgt. Rich Weiner, Columbus Police Spokesman.

Experts said one in three people shot with celebratory gunfire are hit in the head.

The Columbus Division of Police is again reminding people that firing off guns to welcome the New Year is “potentially deadly and against the law.”

In 2014, Columbus Police received 147 gun-related calls from 11:45 p.m.-12:30 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. More information is available on the police website. 

The billboards are located in the following places:

  • 6595 E. Broad St. Harrison Twp. – facing east
  • 2098 Henderson NS E/O Dierker facing east & west
  • 5454 Hilliard-Rom WS north of Roberts Rd. facing south
  • 217 Spring West of 5th facing east
  • 5395 Westerville north of SR161 facing north
  • 1503 Alum Creek north of Alum Industrial facing north
  • 1375 Bethel Rd. east of Godown Rd. facing east & west
  • 6310 Tussing east of Brice Rd. facing west
  • 1929 Brice Rd. north of I-70 facing south
  • 6119 Cleveland Ave. south of I-270 facing north & south
  • 5411 Bethel Road west of Sawmill Rd. facing east & west
  • 111 Georgesville Rd. south of West Broad St. facing north & south
  • 1000 Georgesville Rd. south of Clime Rd. facing north
  • 6111 E. Main St. east of I-270 facing east
  • 3300 S. High St. south of Rumsey facing north & south
  • 650 Wilson Rd. north of Fisher facing north
  • 500 Ackerman Rd. west of Olentangy River Rd. facing east
  • 1577 Holt south of Georgesville Rd. facing west

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