Concern about 'celebratory' gunfire on 4th of July

West Palm Beach neighborhood hit last year

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - On the evening of July 4, 2012, a West Palm Beach neighborhood found itself under fire from above. 'Celebratory' gunshots that were fired into the air blocks away came down hitting several people. A year later, and there was concern it could happen again on this holiday night.

Simple physics shows that what goes up must come down.

"When you're not prepared for what goes up, it makes it very scary when it comes down," said Stacey Jackson, who lives just west of U.S. 1 in West Palm Beach.

Jackson said she knows all too well what can happen after the fireworks on 4th of July night. "I don't even know the word to give because I have grandchildren that run around out here," she said.

One year ago, bullets rained down near the intersection of Cheerful Street and Spruce Avenue. Several unsuspecting people were struck by what West Palm Beach police say were 'celebratory' gunshots. The shots were believed to have been fired from the area of Coleman Park, which is several blocks to the west.

"It was right here," said resident Patrice Gates, who heard the what she first thought were fireworks. "It was scary. We had just walked in the house and a couple of people were shot," said Gates. "I hope things are better tonight."

After last year's July 4th, police were very proactive about teaching people about the dangers of 'celebratory' gunfire. Residents are hoping everyone got the message for the holiday in 2013.

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