Crime

KCK New Year’s reveler planned to fire gun in air, accidentally shot self in stomach

A man in Kansas City, Kan., who was preparing to go outside at midnight and fire his gun in the air to celebrate the new year ended up accidentally shooting himself in the stomach.

Police Chief Terry Zeigler tweeted Tuesday morning that the victim planned to shoot his .22-caliber handgun to ring in the new year in the 900 block of South 57th Terrace.

“When he sat the gun down in the couch, he accidentally shot himself in the stomach,” Zeigler said in an 8:02 a.m. tweet titled “While You Slept in KCKS.” Zeigler said the man is expected to recover.

Every New Year’s Eve, authorities around the country warn revelers not to fire guns in the air at midnight. The practice is illegal, they say, and endangers life and property.

Kansas City police loaded up their “ballistic helmets” Monday night in preparation for stray bullets, according to a tweet at 9:08 p.m. The department conducted a “tweet-along” throughout the night, with two officers detailing their activities on the department’s Twitter page.

“Most of the officers out in Central Patrol right now are responding to shots fired calls from both 911 and the Shotspotter gunshot detection system,” said a tweet at 9:24 p.m.

Eight minutes later: “10 shots reported.”

And at 9:35 p.m.: “Officers are driving around apartment complex looking for damaged windows, bullet holes or anyone down or screaming. People are acting like nothing happened.

The officers tweeted at 11:50 p.m. that they were heading to a parking garage for protection from the bullets expected to come down shortly: “Many officers working the urban core will get under concrete at midnight unless there are life-threatening calls for service.”

At 11:56 p.m., they tweeted: “Officers have helmets on.”

And one minute after midnight: “Gunfire EVERYWHERE.”

Then came a disturbing call at 12:27 a.m. An 8-year-old was on the line from the 2000 block of Wheeling.

“Officers are trying to find right apartment. They called the 911 caller back. Child answered, said everything was OK & hung up. Officers called back again. Adult answered. Said child was scared of gunfire all around and called police. Everyone’s OK.”

Police said Tuesday that no serious injuries were reported because of celebratory gunfire.

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