KCPD reminds residents that celebratory gunfire is illegal within city limits

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Seven years after an 11-year-old girl died following fourth of July celebrations, her family and police are working to make sure another family doesn't have to go through their loss.

Police went door-to-door on Thursday for hours talking to people in nearby neighborhoods and reminding them that celebratory gunfire is illegal.

Blair Shanahan Lane was killed July 4th of 2011 after a group of men made the irresponsible decision of firing guns celebrating the holiday.

Thursday marked the third annual Kansas City Police department July 4th celebratory gunfire reduction effort.

While police know this problem isn’t only one that happens on July 4th — in the last two years, in the immediate areas where they knocked on doors, they saw no repeat gunfire events from the year before.

They’re hoping after door-knocking today that they have similar results this year as well. Police are using a gunfire detection system called ‘Shotspotter’ to help identify areas they know there has been gunfire.

“We did see a reduction of gunfire events in the 36 hours surrounding the 4th of July holiday, but simply a reduction is not enough. That is why we are back here again this year,” said Sergeant Jake Becchina, with KCPD.

“A decision was made that night that ultimately was illegal and shouldn’t have happened, but the more I have spoken out, and continued to educate and advocate, things are changing, and more people are talking about it,” added Michele Shanahan DeMoss, whose daughter was killed by celebratory gunfire.

Firing off a gun in the city limits is illegal, and police ask that if you see or hear gunfire to report it immediately.