WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Law enforcement issues a yearly warning about the dangers of celebratory gunfire, emphasizing that it can be lethal and illegal.
This hazardous activity tends to increase around July 4th, and the Chief of Police in West Palm Beach is urging the community to stop endangering innocent lives. The plea comes after the arrest of a 16-year-old who allegedly fired multiple rounds into the air using a high-powered weapon.
During a news conference, Chief of Police Frank Adderley stated, “We’re appealing to the public, considering we have other upcoming holidays, to understand that this practice is unsafe in our city.”
Newly released video footage from the West Palm Beach Police Department (WPBPD) depicts officers collecting approximately 50 shell casings as evidence from the Lake Mangonia Apartment community on N. Australian Avenue. They also confiscated the weapon.
Chief Adderley addressed the arrest of the teenager, saying, “We took a 16-year-old into custody who was in possession of a high-powered weapon and had fired multiple rounds. He provided us with a false name and was charged for discharging the firearm.”
Another individual present at the scene, an adult in his 20s, was questioned but not charged as the gun found in his possession did not match any of the casings.
Chief Adderley also revealed that there were 18 Shot Spotter alerts, which is a gunshot detection system that identifies the precise location of the gunfire.
However, officials remain concerned about the number of celebratory gunshots. This year, they counted 121 rounds, slightly lower than the previous year’s count of 146.
Chief Adderley remarked, “Although there is a noticeable decrease in the numbers, it is still far too many.”
To address the issue of celebratory gunfire and combat gun violence, Chief Adderley announced an upcoming public safety discussion scheduled for July 12 at Gaines Park and Community Center, located at 1501 N. Australian Avenue in West Palm Beach.