By Tamas Mondovics

As celebratory gunfire remains a serious problem in many communities, particularly on the July 4th weekend, local officials including the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office pleaded with citizens to assist with creating an environment that enhances safety and security.

In a press release ahead of this year’s Independence Day, HCSO information office alerted residents of the fact that celebratory gunfire often lead to tragic results when innocent people are hit by the bullets and are injured or killed.  

“The reality is, that any bullet discharged from a gun, even into the sky, must land somewhere, and when it does, there is significant risk of injury or death,” said HCSO Public Information Officer, Debbie Carter.

To that end the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office utilizes the ShotSpotter gunfire alerts and analysis solution to detect and locate gunfire incidents and gather gunfire intelligence and data to fight crime and violence in Hillsborough County.   

The Sheriff’s office said that ShotSpotter gunfire alert data and intelligence also provides the detectives and deputies with more forensic evidence leading to more thorough investigations and increased prosecutions for gun-related crime, in addition to enhancing crime analysis and data-driven policing capabilities, helping improve public safety and security
The agency said that this solution provides real-time gunshot location data, enabling informed decisions for faster and more accurate emergency response, while improving  intelligence and increasing first responder safety.
A constant reminder of the tragic consequences of celebratory gunfire is young Wimauma resident Diego Duran, who was struck in the head by a stray bullet on the wake of the New Year of 2012 as he was watching fireworks at his home.

Diego’s tragedy contributed to the launching of Bullet Free Sky a non-profit organization with the goal to educate the public and raise awareness on the dangers of Celebratory Gunfire.

To raise awareness and remind everyone about the dangers of the irresponsible celebration of shooting a gun up in the air, Bullet Free Sky now has an educational video to send a message to everyone regarding the dangers of Celebratory Gunfire. 


For information about Bullet Free Sky, visit

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