FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve caused a stray bullet to hit a nursery wall in a home on the city’s southeast side. The bullet was only inches away from striking a three-month-old in a crib.
“I do feel lucky about all of us being safe but at the same time I can’t be happy because of the negligence,” mother Leah Baker said. “Somebody did it on purpose. Even if they were having a good time and celebrating it was almost a tragedy for us.”
Leah Baker and her boyfriend found a hole in their wall on New Years Day. Baker believes the bullet was shot into her house on New Year’s Eve. Police told Baker that the shot was likely a stray from a celebratory shot.
The bullet came through the back of Baker’s Fort Wayne home, through the couple’s game room, and ended up on the floor of her 3-month-old son Desmond’s room next to his crib. The actual shot was inches above the crib.
This event has left Leah and her family and friends shaken.
“It was just hard to see it, especially in his room, by his crib was hard,” Backer said. “A huge thing about New Years’ is making better decisions, becoming a better person and just to see someone start their year with this is heartbreaking.”
Fort Wayne Police say that unfortunately celebratory gunfire is common on holidays, and that it’s not only dangerous but illegal.
“Actually shooting a firearm in the city limits is against the law,” said Fort Wayne Police Department Public Information Officer Sofia Rosales-Scatena. “You can face jail time and fines times for doing that if you are caught. It’s just one more thing that you don’t need have happened and it’s unnecessary and we just hope people celebrate in more positive ways.”
During the festivities, FWPD was inundated with calls to the point they stopped responding to reports of shots fired due to the number of calls received. Instead, police will drive by the reported area.
Luckily, no one in Fort Wayne has died of celebratory gunfire. However, that’s not the case for other cities around the country. Rosales-Scatena said that in the past a SWAT vehicle was hit with celebratory gunfire driving down the road.
If residents find damage from gunfire they can call the police and have a report written up. However, it can be difficult for police to track done the gun and find the shooter. ddPolice’s advice is simple don’t shoot.
Baker says a report has been filed with the police department, but she’s not looking to take legal action. She just wants this to be a lesson for others that celebratory gunfire does have consequences.
She hopes that the next time someone goes to fire a gun in celebration, they will stop and think of the consequences that might arise.