HOUSTON - Houston-area officials are warning Houstonians about the dangers of celebratory gunfire.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Houston Police Department and Crime Stoppers of Houston are partnering to stop deadly celebratory gunfire within city limits this New Year’s Eve, a night "typically punctuated by gunshots of all types at and around midnight and thereafter," according to officials.
Beginning New Year’s Eve as part of an ongoing initiative, Crime Stoppers will offer increased rewards for credible reports of celebratory gunfire. HPD will respond citywide to such reports and policy now requires officers to collect ballistics evidence found at all actual crime scenes.
“By offering cash rewards for information leading to celebratory gunfire criminal charges, Crime Stoppers has incentivized anyone and everyone to anonymously report dangerous and irresponsible gun use which so often leads to deadly consequences,“ said Andy Kahan, Director of Victim Services at Crime Stoppers.
“People shooting guns into the air will be prosecuted, and the firearms and bullet casings will be tested against the national database to determine if they are connected to any past crime,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
“The DA's Office is focused on prosecuting gun violence at every level. Bullets don’t discriminate—they kill, whether fired for celebratory or evil purposes,” Ogg said. “Use a gun, even for celebration, you will be investigated and charged where the evidence supports it. Celebratory gunfire is illegal and irresponsible—and this partnership reflects our collective commitment to saving lives.”
The public is encouraged by authorities to call 911 to report celebratory gunfire as it occurs and Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS with any information. Potential charges include the offense of deadly conduct.