KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Every year around the Fourth of July police begin talking about the dangers of celebratory gunfire. To spread the message, officers are hitting the streets with a family that lost a little girl because someone decided to shoot their gun in the air.
To prevent that action, Michelle Shanahan-Demoss and her husband Brian were with KCPD going door-to-door, telling people about their daughter Blair, who was shot and killed six years ago from celebratory gunfire.
Blair Shanahan Lane was just 11 years old when a bullet shot from over a half-mile away made its way over a lake, a wooded area and hit Blair as she danced with her cousins at a backyard barbecue. In 2016, there were 21 shot spotter gunfire alerts in the 36 hours surrounding the Independence Day holiday, which is less than the year before.
"Within those numbers, the nine-percent reduction was nice, we would love to see a 100-percent reduction, however, the neat thing is when we looked at where the gunfire was, the areas immediately surrounding where we went and knocked on the doors, there were no repeat gunfire alerts in that area, so we would like to hope that we had some effect on it," said Jake Becchina with KCPD.
As a FOX 4 crew walked along with them earlier, it was really amazing to learn how many people do not realize how far a bullet can travel and how dangerous celebratory gunfire is.