Residents want an end to celebratory gunfire

by: Ashley Swann Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A DeKalb County man is leading a grassroots effort to stop celebratory gunfire.

Channel 2 Action News heard from viewers all across the Atlanta metro who said they were terrified by the shots they heard around the stroke of midnight New Year's Eve.

Henry Adams is trying to get something done about it and has set up a Facebook group with members from all over metro Atlanta who said the celebratory gunfire they hear around New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July holidays literally has them fearing for their lives.

"You got to step up and do something," Adams told Channel 2's Ashley Swann.

He leads the Facebook group called Citizens Against Celebratory Gunfire.

Adams started the effort after a stray bullet killed 4-year-old Marquel Peters while he sat in a DeKalb Church on New Year's Eve 2010.

"We have a problem here in the community. These people are shooting guns, whether they are legal or illegal, right now they're being irresponsible and people are losing their lives," Adams said.

Adams said the celebratory gunfire this New Year's Eve was worse than ever.

"I got calls from Sandy Springs, from Dunwoody, from Dectatur, the entire Memorial Drive corridor," Adams said.

He even shared some audio of the gunshots he and his family heard in Stone Mountain.

"It started off as small pops to people shooting two, three, four bullets," Adams said. "It was something that was so scary and was so loud."

"We're talking about a war zone, people putting their phones up against their windows saying, 'Can you hear this? What are we going to do about this?'" Adams said.

In fact, Swann heard from viewer after viewer who told her the gunfire had them terrified.

"It's pretty sad. It's pretty irresponsible," said Jennifer Hipp, who heard shots from her east Atlanta home for so long, she spent part of her New Year's Eve in her husband's bulletproof gear.

"It was meant to be a bit of a joke, but when you're by yourself, those bullets can come through your roof at any time," Hipp said.

Adams and his group want local law enforcement agencies to try using tracking technology to track down the people responsible.

They think prosecuting offenders would go a long way to putting an end to celebratory gunfire.



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