Police urge New Year's Eve revelers not to partake in celebratory gunfire: 'What goes up must come down'
PHILADELPHIA - Authorities in Philadelphia urged New Year's Eve revelers not to partake in celebratory gunfire when the clock strikes midnight.
The warning comes months after investigators concluded that celebratory gunfire struck two officers patrolling an Independence Day fireworks display on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Police have not made an arrest in the shooting and both officers survived their injuries. Investigators believe the bullets likely came from the same gun.
"What goes up, must come down," Sheriff Rochelle Bilal told reporters the Friday before New Year's Eve. "Those bullets can hurt somebody, they can hurt somebody in your family."
Philadelphia, like most major cities in the country, is expecting the New Year to bring in crowds of tourists eager to let loose without COVID restrictions or limitations.
Still, the looming scepter of gun violence that has played a role in many of the city's over 500 homicides this year provides a sobering backdrop to the New Year's Eve festivities.
"Even just walking the streets, you have to worry about being safe," Philadelphia resident Janel Powell said.
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Officials doubled-down on their warning, telling reporters that anyone found guilty of killing someone with celebratory gunfire could face a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
"It sucks that we have to worry about gun violence and silliness with guns every day," Craig Nentwik said.