You See, It’s not Always Gunfire

But serious props to MPD for investigating the following incidents. From the MPD Listserv:

“Officers respond to the 600 blk of Jefferson for the sounds of gunshots. Officer canvassed for evidence of gunfire but did not find any. Several neighbors were interviewed and related that it was fireworks.

The officers also responded to the 4900 blk of Georgia Ave for the sound of gunshots. Officers canvassed and located several witnessed that indicated a Chopper style motorcycle was backfiring on Georgia Ave. The officers conducted a canvass for evidence of gunfire but found none.

Commander Linda Brown
Fourth District”

11 Comment

  • yes, but unfortunately it often is.

  • Yes, sometimes it’s fireworks, but according to shotspotter activations and verified shots-fired calls by MPD it was gunfire 485 times from January to August of this year in Ward 4 [roughly 4th District]:
    That’s incidents of gunfire, not rounds fired…so last weeks shootout at Coolidge in which 20+ rounds are fired counts as 1 ‘sounds of gunshots’ call.

  • I was told by police in 2005 that it was fireworks until we found the bullet hole in a car. So I pretty much call BS on a “backfiring motorcycle.” come on.

  • ontarioroad, please look at the page again…That data is for 2002

  • No – the ‘2002’ after the ward number indicates these are wards as identified after they were redistricted following the 2000 census. As the header indicates – these stats are for January 1 2009 through August 23 2009. The full sized PDF’s are available here – Ward 4 gunshots calls are page 3:

  • Interesting info-thanks ontarioraoder!

  • I heard the backfiring chopper on Georgia this past week…I don’t really know how someone could mistake it for gun fire. You could also tell the sound came in distinct waves (i.e. from red light to red light).

  • Ontarioroad, I apologize for the mistake. But, alot of people in ward 4 call the police and say they hear gunshot, so the police can come quicker. I am not sure we could infer that there were 485 gun incidents in ward 4 from this data.

  • Perhaps, but there are plenty of instances in which ShotSpotter detects gunfire and no one calls 911. It probably evens out in the end, and I think that the stats are pretty close to the truth.

  • reminds me of those stories of Mobutu building a magnificent palace set in beautiful remote jungle near his hometown on the Congo, only to see the flown-in Italian marble overgrown with creeping vegetation due to neglect after his death.

  • you know, if it even resembles the sound of gunfire, call the cops. each time.

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