Bullet nearly strikes child in home: Dayton police warn about celebratory gunfire

Dayton Police are warning residents of the dangers of celebratory gunfire. Police report that more than 3,700 rounds were recorded by ShotSpotter this year on News Year's Eve in the area of North Main Street. A home on East Siebenthaler Avenue was one of numerous homes that were struck by a bullet. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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Dayton Police are warning residents of the dangers of celebratory gunfire. Police report that more than 3,700 rounds were recorded by ShotSpotter this year on News Year's Eve in the area of North Main Street. A home on East Siebenthaler Avenue was one of numerous homes that were struck by a bullet. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Gunfire device records 3,700 shots on New Year’s Eve in North Main Street area.

Whatever goes up must also come down, including bullets fired into the air, and Dayton Police are warning residents that celebratory gunfire is dangerous and could result in property damage or loss of life.

Dayton Police Maj. Brian Johns said that ShotSpotter recorded that more than 3,700 shots over the New Year’s holiday around North Main Street between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., more than double what took place last year.

At least nine residents reported that their homes were struck by gunfire, including a round that went into a sleeping child’s bedroom. No one was injured in the incident.

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Police suspect that more homes and property were damaged from falling bullets during the holiday. Johns said that it’s not uncommon for Dayton police to receive new reports of damage caused by gunfire from holiday celebrations weeks after the event and some homeowners either don’t notice or don’t report the issue.

“I love to celebrate July 4th and New Year’s Eve but going into your front yard or back yard and (shooting) off rounds isn’t really the way to do it,” Johns said. “Those numbers are staggering and that’s just a small area of the city.”

Johns said last year ShotSpotter recorded about 1,700 shots in the same area. He said that residents need to find a different way to celebrate holidays with friends and family.

“It’s like a tradition and people go out and fire their gun off on New Year’s Eve but unfortunately those projectiles have to come down somewhere,” Johns said.

Dayton police investigate the incidents, Johns said, and firing weapons into the air could result in charges. For instance, Dayton police were called shortly after 11 a.m. Dec. 30 to the 1100 block of Phillips Avenue, where a caller reported that his house and a neighbor’s house had been struck by bullets.

Dayton police investigated and found multiple people at a rental property nearby. One of those individuals now faces a having weapons while under disability charge due to a prior conviction.

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