Stockton Police Department Issues Celebratory Gunfire Warning

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STOCKTON -- Gunshots at midnight is a New Year’s tradition for some, but it’s not only illegal, it’s dangerous.

The Stockton Police Department has issued their annual warning about celebratory gunfire.

"Anytime somebody discharges a bullet or a gun up in the air that bullet will eventually come down," said Rosie Calderon, a spokeswoman with the Stockton Police Department. "It can strike a building, it can strike a vehicle and it can strike a person. I mean, it can cause serious injury and even death.”

On Jan. 1, 2015, it was a close call for two Stockton police officers after bullets from celebratory gunfire hit their patrol car, ricocheted and hit one of the officers in the leg. Luckily, no one was hurt.

But for those who choose to ignore the warning and fire off their gun at midnight there’s shot-spotter, technology used by police that can not only tell the difference between the sound of fireworks and gunfire, but can pinpoint the location it’s coming from. It can ultimately lead to an arrest.

Officers are also asking anyone who hears gunshots, even though they might think they’re fireworks, to call police so they can investigate. They will also have extra patrol in problem neighborhoods.