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Celebratory Gunfire

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By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | January 15, 2013
The death of Aaliyah Boyer, a 10-year-old struck down in Cecil County, and the shooting of Laurie Eberhardt, a grandmother hit by gunfire in Florida, share the same perplexing challenge for prosecutors and investigators. Both were watching fireworks on New Year's Eve when they were hit by apparent celebratory gunfire. And both face long odds of having their shooters brought to justice because of the anonymity of the crime and weak laws against firing guns indiscriminately into the air. If authorities ever find the person who fired the shot that hit Aaliyah, the county's top prosecutor said, a misdemeanor charge might be the most he or she could face.
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NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2013
Lassiter Basket bought his .22-caliber handgun in 1963 and in recent years has fired it just twice a year - on New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July. He says he uses blanks for safety and shoots in the privacy of his Forest Park row house. "Other people fire firecrackers," the white-haired 82-year-old said. "It's just a noisemaker. " But on Thursday, police say Basket had live ammunition in his gun when he fired off a round that blasted through the wall of his great-granddaughter's bedroom.
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NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | February 13, 2013
The mother of a 10-year-old girl killed by celebratory gunfire in Cecil County on New Year's Eve is asking for stricter penalties for shooting guns into the air. Crystal Blackburn, the mother of Aaliyah Boyer, who was killed when Cecil County Sheriff's officials said a bullet fell from the sky and struck her on the top of her head, is calling on the public to sign a petition at aaliyahboyer.com. The "We the People" petition through the White House needs 100,000 signatures before it's forwarded to the president's administration for review.
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | February 13, 2013
The mother of a 10-year-old girl killed by celebratory gunfire in Cecil County on New Year's Eve is asking for stricter penalties for shooting guns into the air. Crystal Blackburn, the mother of Aaliyah Boyer, who was killed when Cecil County Sheriff's officials said a bullet fell from the sky and struck her on the top of her head, is calling on the public to sign a petition at aaliyahboyer.com. The "We the People" petition through the White House needs 100,000 signatures before it's forwarded to the president's administration for review.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2013
Lassiter Basket bought his .22-caliber handgun in 1963 and in recent years has fired it just twice a year - on New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July. He says he uses blanks for safety and shoots in the privacy of his Forest Park row house. "Other people fire firecrackers," the white-haired 82-year-old said. "It's just a noisemaker. " But on Thursday, police say Basket had live ammunition in his gun when he fired off a round that blasted through the wall of his great-granddaughter's bedroom.
NEWS
By Laurie Willis and Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF | January 3, 2004
Baltimore police Officer John Dolly, a four-year veteran assigned to the Eastern District, was listed in serious condition yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center a day after being shot in the hip while trying to stop a New Year's Eve reveler from firing a handgun. Early Thursday morning, Dolly came upon the reveler in the 900 block of Montford Ave. while responding to another call in the Milton-Montford neighborhood. Dolly and other officers tried to get the man to stop firing his handgun, but he refused, police said.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,SUN STAFF | April 7, 2003
New Year's Day of 2002 in Baltimore was greeted by a fusillade of celebratory gunfire. Of the hundreds of bullets fired into the air, one fell and lodged in the forehead of 19-year-old Ferra Diggs as she watched fireworks at the Inner Harbor. Diggs survived, but victims elsewhere haven't been so lucky. On July 4, Xavier Morales, 9, of Anaheim, Calif., was killed by a falling .22-caliber bullet as he watched fireworks with his family. Similar incidents in recent years have killed children and adults in New Orleans, Kansas City, Mo., Detroit, Philadelphia and San Jose, Calif.
NEWS
By John-Thor Dahlburg and John-Thor Dahlburg,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 1, 2004
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - First word came as the shrill morning calls of roosters were echoing yesterday off the walls of shantytowns and villas in this still slumbering Caribbean capital city. Within minutes, there were explosions of celebratory gunfire, happy cries of "ca y est!" - "it's over!" - and outbreaks of looting by mobs. In the wealthy hillside suburb of Petionville, scores of boys and young men sacked an abandoned police station, carrying away police helmets and shields, thermos bottles and battered file cabinets.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | January 4, 2000
Some Baltimoreans aren't satisfied with welcoming the new year by popping champagne corks and watching fireworks over the Inner Harbor. They insist on creating their own noise by celebrating with gunfire. This year, city police decided to confront the unofficial holiday revelers. Officers swarmed over the city and in 12 hours, they seized 122 firearms and arrested more than 100 people. "These are some of the instruments of death in this city," said Police Commissioner Ronald L. Daniel, as he stood in front of a table covered with guns, including .357-caliber Magnum revolvers and 9 mm assault rifles.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2014
As many prepare for Fourth of July cookouts or head to the Shore, law enforcement agencies across the state are beefing up patrols - to monitor large crowds at fireworks celebrations and ramp up DUI enforcement. Officers plan to be out in force on Friday at the Inner Harbor, where crowds congregate for fireworks, and throughout the region in what police say is one of their busiest days of the year. "We're working really hard to ensure that this is the best Fourth of July celebration that we've had in the history of Baltimore," said Col. Darryl DeSousa, the city's chief of patrol.
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | January 15, 2013
The death of Aaliyah Boyer, a 10-year-old struck down in Cecil County, and the shooting of Laurie Eberhardt, a grandmother hit by gunfire in Florida, share the same perplexing challenge for prosecutors and investigators. Both were watching fireworks on New Year's Eve when they were hit by apparent celebratory gunfire. And both face long odds of having their shooters brought to justice because of the anonymity of the crime and weak laws against firing guns indiscriminately into the air. If authorities ever find the person who fired the shot that hit Aaliyah, the county's top prosecutor said, a misdemeanor charge might be the most he or she could face.
NEWS
By John-Thor Dahlburg and John-Thor Dahlburg,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 1, 2004
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - First word came as the shrill morning calls of roosters were echoing yesterday off the walls of shantytowns and villas in this still slumbering Caribbean capital city. Within minutes, there were explosions of celebratory gunfire, happy cries of "ca y est!" - "it's over!" - and outbreaks of looting by mobs. In the wealthy hillside suburb of Petionville, scores of boys and young men sacked an abandoned police station, carrying away police helmets and shields, thermos bottles and battered file cabinets.
NEWS
By Laurie Willis and Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF | January 3, 2004
Baltimore police Officer John Dolly, a four-year veteran assigned to the Eastern District, was listed in serious condition yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center a day after being shot in the hip while trying to stop a New Year's Eve reveler from firing a handgun. Early Thursday morning, Dolly came upon the reveler in the 900 block of Montford Ave. while responding to another call in the Milton-Montford neighborhood. Dolly and other officers tried to get the man to stop firing his handgun, but he refused, police said.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,SUN STAFF | April 7, 2003
New Year's Day of 2002 in Baltimore was greeted by a fusillade of celebratory gunfire. Of the hundreds of bullets fired into the air, one fell and lodged in the forehead of 19-year-old Ferra Diggs as she watched fireworks at the Inner Harbor. Diggs survived, but victims elsewhere haven't been so lucky. On July 4, Xavier Morales, 9, of Anaheim, Calif., was killed by a falling .22-caliber bullet as he watched fireworks with his family. Similar incidents in recent years have killed children and adults in New Orleans, Kansas City, Mo., Detroit, Philadelphia and San Jose, Calif.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | January 4, 2000
Some Baltimoreans aren't satisfied with welcoming the new year by popping champagne corks and watching fireworks over the Inner Harbor. They insist on creating their own noise by celebrating with gunfire. This year, city police decided to confront the unofficial holiday revelers. Officers swarmed over the city and in 12 hours, they seized 122 firearms and arrested more than 100 people. "These are some of the instruments of death in this city," said Police Commissioner Ronald L. Daniel, as he stood in front of a table covered with guns, including .357-caliber Magnum revolvers and 9 mm assault rifles.
NEWS
By Ryan Davis and Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF | December 30, 2004
Revelers who plan to bring in the new year with a blaze of gunfire should beware - more than 1,000 Baltimore police officers will patrolling the streets, many looking for people firing shots into the air at midnight. City police once did little to discourage the tradition, but the city has been cracking down on celebratory gunfire since at least New Year's Eve 1999. Tomorrow night, about three times the typical number of officers will be on patrol as midnight approaches. Many will be dispatched to areas where heavy gunfire was reported last year, police said yesterday.
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