New Year’s gunfire vexes neighbors; keeps police busy

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — One fed up neighbor in Henrico’s East End said celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve forced him to duck and cover — and dial 911.

Chris Monroe told CBS 6 News’ Shelby Brown Tuesday that he heard rapid gunfire. He said he was so stunned by the frequency of the celebratory fire that he took a chance and placed his iPhone on his front porch.

What he captured at the stroke of midnight, he shared with CBS 6 News. 

Even his neighbor Louis Woolridge agreed it was pretty bad.

“It was like pop, pop, pop, pop. They were automatic guns and they were loud,” Woolridge said. “I would be concerned with the kids here and families in the neighborhood because everything that goes up has to come down.” 

Monroe said that the noises outside that he captured sounded like a war zone.

“I could tell there were 25 to 30 shots in a row. There were automatic weapons going off and that happened multiple times,” Monroe said.

He said that he finally got in touch with police, who said he should go to an interior room in his home. However, Monroe said he really does not have an interior room, so he was forced to crouch in a corner for more than an hour, while he prayed that he and his pets wouldn’t get hit by stray bullets.

“This year I was a little more frightened. I felt the need to sit in a safe place. It was that bad, Monroe added. “After hearing the automatic weapons for thirty to 45 minutes, I started to wonder where the police were.”

A Henrico County spokesperson said the department was inundated with calls of shots being fired around midnight.  

While they didn’t add special patrols just for that, the spokesperson tells CBS 6 News they did investigate all the calls that came in.

Police said Monroe did the right thing by reporting the gunfire, because those tips can pay off.

In fact, one of the calls that came in near Crenshaw Road led to the arrest of convicted felon, Antonio Andre Miller. Police said they confiscated several weapons in that case.

Police advise citizens to call 911 in these situations — and said a person caught shooting a firearm in a public place will face a misdemeanor charge.

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