Celebratory New Year’s gunfire keeps IMPD busy

INDIANAPOLIS — New Year’s Eve is normally a terribly busy night for police officers. More people are out later celebrating, often with some alcohol consumption, and then heading for home.

In Indianapolis, add to that law enforcement workload people ringing in the new year with celebratory gun fire.

A video posted on the social media platform “X” (formerly Twitter) shows a static picture of a near east side street as the clock struck midnight. The audio is punctuated with pops and bangs that last for two minutes.

In this area around East 11th Street, there are well-kept small homes in a working-class neighborhood not far from St. Therese’s Catholic Church. The people who live here are accustomed to holiday gun fire.

“I guess it’s just kind of a part of the fabric of the neighborhood,” explained Emerson Black.

Black grew up not far from the neighborhood and says on the Fourth of July, Christmas, and New Year’s, the sound of gunshots is common.

“It definitely causes a lot of anxiety. We live in like sort of a house with thin walls. My partner gets really concerned like about what if a stray bullet comes through the wall,” said Black.

Another neighbor who did not identify herself shrugged off the holiday gunfire as a waste of ammunition and money.

Also in the first hour of 2024, IMPD answered a “shots fired” call in the 200 block of East Michigan, a short walk from Massachusetts Avenue with all of its restaurants and bars.

On the ground, officers found 18 shell casings. When FOX59/CBS4 examined the scene hours later, there were .45 shell casings scatter on the road and sidewalk.

Around the 3300 block of North Meridian, police were called to a complaint of shots being fired. Recordings of the police radio transmissions on Broadcastify included the background sound of the crackle of gun fire while officers replied to dispatchers. There were no reports of injuries or arrests.

The city force has become sadly familiar with holiday gun fire.

“It’s dangerous. The bullets go up and they come down. It brings with it the risk of injury and even death,” said Lt. Shane Foley with IMPD.

Foley notes people found responsible for firing celebratory rounds can face an array of charges including criminal recklessness, criminal mischief and vandalism.

But to bring about arrests, IMPD needs help in the form of witnesses who can identify shooters. If you can help, you are asked to call the IMPD tip line or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana.

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