PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - New Year’s Eve is Saturday night and along with the celebrating often comes irresponsible behavior.
Besides drinking, too many people fire weapons in the air.
Thursday, Philadelphia authorities urged people not to do that.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams warned you can end up in prison if you do, even if nobody or nothing is hit.
“What goes up, must come down, so be responsible this New Year’s Eve and do not shoot your gun in the air as you ring in 2017,” Williams said. “If you are caught firing your weapon into the air, you could be charged with recklessly endangering another person and receive several years in prison. If the bullet hits and hurts someone, you could be charged with aggravated assault, attempted murder or even murder.”
He and Police Commissioner Richard Ross introduced Joe Jaskolka, who was almost killed from celebratory gunfire.
On Dec. 31, 1998, Joe Jaskolka was hit in the head by a bullet while he was walking in South Philadelphia. He was only 11 then.
Now, that bullet is still lodged in his head, he’s paralyzed on his right side of his body, and can’t use the left-side of his vocal chords.
At 29, he has undergone 33 surgeries to his brain and 21 surgeries to his eyes.
His family estimates insurers paid more than $15 million to cover it all.
And the person who fired the gun has never been caught.
“There is zero tolerance for this type of behavior and we will arrest those committing these types of acts,” Ross said. “We want people to ring in the New Year in a responsible, fun, and safe manner.”
Philadelphia police got 132 reports of gunshots fired between 10pm on Dec. 31, 2015 and 3am on Jan. 1, 2016.
They say they get about ten reports of gunshots fired on an average night.