Phoenix police target celebratory random gunfire - New York News

Phoenix police target celebratory random gunfire

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Shannon Smith Shannon Smith
PHOENIX -

Phoenix police will be on patrol New Year's Eve for random celebratory gunfire.

Police say neighborhood enforcement teams will be passing out flyers and arresting violators.

It's felony in Arizona to discharge a firearm with criminal negligence in a municipality.

"Last year we had a slight uptick in the number of random gunfires in the city, so we want that to be an anomaly, we want that number to continue to go down, in fact we want that number to be zero," said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

"It's a class six felony that means that someone not only can lose their freedom for up to six months, but also significant fines in excess of $100,000... not to mention the possibility that someone would be killed or wounded," said Phil Gordon, former Phoenix mayor.

That crime was put on the books after a stray bullet killed 14-year-old Shannon Smith in 1999 as she was talking on the phone in the backyard of her central Phoenix home.

"The men and women of the Phoenix Police department will be out there in force looking for violators and we will make arrests celebrate the new year by hugging your children, not pulling out a weapon and discharging it into the air," said Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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