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Multiple arrests made for firing guns into air on New Year's Eve

Mesa, Phoenix, El Mirage announce arrests
David Brown
Posted at 10:58 AM, Jan 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 10:56:14-05

MESA, AZ — Officials around the Valley made multiple arrests overnight for celebratory, illegal gunfire over the New Year's holiday.

One arrested in Mesa

Mesa police say 29-year-old David Brown fired multiple rounds from his Glock handgun into the air just after midnight in a neighborhood near Gilbert Road and University Drive.

David Brown
David Brown

Brown admitted to shooting the weapon and said he collected the shell casings in a bag and brought them into his home.

According to police documents, Brown was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

He was arrested for unlawful discharge of a firearm.

No injuries or damage were reported during this incident.

Two arrested in Phoenix

In Phoenix, police say they arrested two men for firing multiple shots in the air just after midnight near 11th Avenue and Bell Road.

Officials identified the men as 29-year-old Eddie Gonzales Jr. and 20-year-old Jacory Hillery. They were both booked into jail for discharging a firearm within city limits.

Jacory Hillery

No further information about the incident was immediately available.

Additional arrests

An El Mirage man was arrested after firing a rifle nearly two dozen times in a separate shooting incident on New Year's Eve. Fortunately, no injuries or damage were reported in that situation, either.

Michael Sais.jpeg
Michael Sais

It is illegal to fire weapons into the air in cities and towns under Arizona's Shannon's Law. The law was put in place after a teenager was shot and killed in June 1999 by a stray bullet fired into the air more than a mile away.

ABC15 has reached out to multiple other Valley law enforcement departments in an attempt to get information on additional shots-fired arrests.

Glendale police said before the New Year's holiday that their department would be utilizing technology to locate gunfire and having more patrols to deter and educate about illegal, celebratory gunfire. The department has not yet responded to reports of arrests or gunfire overnight.

"Celebratory gunfire is a common problem in many cities, particularly over the New Year’s Eve," Glendale police said in a press release before the holiday. "Sadly, it often has tragic results when innocent people are hit by stray 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, the risk of injury or death is significant."

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said they did not have any calls or arrests regarding shots in the area over the holiday.

Surprise Police Department also said they made no arrests in regards to shots fired and no incidents are under investigation at this time.

Chandler Police Department said they made no arrests for these incidents either.