KANSAS CITY, Mo — Every holiday there are people who take celebrating way too far, shooting guns up in the air to celebrate the New Year -- not thinking that it could mean the end of someone’s life.
A Waldo couple came close to being victims of this dangerous game in the last seconds of 2017.
“It was just a repetitive ratta tat tat tat tat,” said Cynthia Boles, who told her husband to get away from the windows for safety.
Gunshots welcomed the couple into 2018, and then Boles heard a ping. The carport just a few feet from their bedroom window was hit by a stray bullet.
Boles posted pictures to the Waldo Facebook page and was mostly supported in her outrage, except for one person who said shooting a bullet into the air can't kill a person.
“It’s just stupid,” Boles said. “I don’t get it.”
But there have been several instances where gunfire shot off to celebrate a holiday has injured or killed people.
Blair Shanahan Lane may be the most well-known victim of celebratory gunfire in Kansas City. Her mother Michele Shanahan DeMoss has been outspoken about the dangers of celebratory gunfire after the 11-year-old girl was killed July 4, 2011.
The bullet that killed Blair was shot from about a mile away and hit Blair in the neck as she was dancing outside at a family picnic.
“Guns should not any form of celebration,” Shanahan DeMoss said during a 2014 interview. “I share every day that a gun does two things. Once that bullet leaves, it maims, and it kills.”
Police continually warn people about the dangers of celebratory gunfire. When a bullet leaves a gun, it lands somewhere -- and all too often, those bullets hit people.
As Boles learned, not everyone is listening.
“It’s scary," she said. "I think that people don’t think, or people who are with them don’t think. I mean, it doesn’t take just one person. There’s not just one person out there standing with a gun. Everybody is standing around watching them, so someone needs to use some common sense and take control of the situation.”
Shooting a gun into the air is illegal. If you hear gunfire, call police.