December 31, 2019
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Houston Police Department and Crime Stoppers of Houston are partnering to stop deadly celebratory gunfire within city limits this New Year’s Eve, a night typically punctuated by gun shots of all types at and around midnight and thereafter.
The initiative centers on simple elements: public reporting, police responding to the report and collecting ballistics evidence when possible, and Crime Stoppers rewards for the tipsters when the DAs Office files criminal charges.
Beginning tonight, New Year’s Eve, as part of an ongoing initiative, Crime Stoppers of Houston will offer increased rewards for credible reports of celebratory gunfire. HPD will respond citywide to such reports and by policy now requires officers to collect ballistics evidence found at all actual crime scenes. The evidence collected is submitted to NIBIN, the national law enforcement ballistics database which matches firearms evidence against each other and to open and unsolved cases around the country.
“By offering cash rewards for information leading to celebratory gunfire criminal charges, Crime Stoppers has incentivized anyone and everyone to anonymously report dangerous and irresponsible gun use which so often leads to deadly consequences,“ said Andy Kahan, Director of Victim Services at Crime Stoppers.
“People shooting guns into the air will be prosecuted, and the firearms and bullet casings will be tested against the national database to determine if they are connected to any past crime,” said Kim Ogg, Harris County District Attorney.
“The DAs Office is focused on prosecuting gun violence at every level. Bullets don’t discriminate—they kill, whether fired for celebratory or evil purposes,” Ogg said. “Use a gun, even for celebration, you will be investigated and charged where the evidence supports it. Celebratory gunfire is illegal and irresponsible—and this partnership reflects our collective commitment to saving lives.”
The public is encouraged to call 911 to report celebratory gunfire as it occurs and Crime Stoppers (713-222-TIPS) with any information about the perpetrators. Potential charges include the offense of deadly conduct.