On New Year’s Day 2012, 12-year-old Diego Duran was in the front lawn of his family home in Ruskin, Fla., when he fell to the ground. His sisters and a friend thought he was joking.
When his mother checked on him, she found blood pouring from his eyes and nose. It turns out Diego had been struck by a stray bullet, likely New Year’s celebratory gunfire.
Random gunfire in the state of Florida is illegal, and Orange County deputies will be actively patrolling for those who would endanger citizens.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry L. Demings is asking citizens not to fire weapons in celebration of the New Year because it is not only dangerous, but also illegal.
“There are many ways to celebrate the New Year and the opportunities for positive change that it brings, but firing random shots in the air should not be one of them. This dangerous activity can severely injure or kill a person you have never met, or someone you know and love," he said.
Charges for discharging a firearm in public or on residential property range from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.