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Celebratory bullet falls through Kealakekua roof

January 2, 2014 - 9:49pm

A stray bullet fell from the sky New Year’s Eve and through the roof of Farzad Fazeli’s Muli Street home in Kealakekua. It caused an approximately 1-inch diameter hole in the ceiling of his dining room, hit the wood floor near a table, and bounced back toward a jalousie window.

Fortunately, no one was in the room, Fazeli said.

The incident occurred sometime between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., when Fazeli heard fireworks going off in his neighborhood, followed by shattering glass in his living room. Originally, Fazeli thought a firework had caused the damaged. But upon further inspection Wednesday morning, he discovered a .44-caliber bullet and immediately called the Hawaii Police Department.

Fazeli said the police confiscated the bullet and said it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly who shot it.

“Bullets go a long way up when they’re fired, could have been shot a mile or so away, and you don’t know where they’re going to land. But there’s always the chance of them causing serious harm or death,” he added.

Thursday morning, Fazeli shared his story with West Hawaii Today in hopes of convincing people to stop firing guns into the air in celebration. He was sitting only about 10 feet away from where the bullet fell into his home. He was grateful no one was eating dinner at the time and that his 14-year-old son was not there.

Still, Fazeli said the incident has left him and his family “freaked out and insecure.”

“No one expects a bullet to come through their roof like that. That bullet could have injured or killed someone,” he said. “What if it was a full round of bullets? What’s it going to take for people to stop this? A death?”

Hawaii Police Department Kona Patrol Lt. William “Gary” Souther said police did respond to a report of damage caused by a celebratory gunshot at Fazeli’s house.

Firing a firearm into the sky within a populated area is illegal and also “very dangerous,” Souther said.

“What goes up must come down again, and you don’t know exactly where,” he added.

According to Hawaii Revised Statutes, it is considered second-degree reckless endangering when someone “engages in conduct that recklessly places another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury” or “intentionally discharges a firearm in a populated area, in a residential area, or within the boundaries or in the direction of any road, street, or highway.” Second-degree reckless endangering is a misdemeanor.

Bullets falling from the air can injure or kill someone. To help avoid possible injury, the public should refrain from firing guns into the air. Also anyone who hears gunfire should call the Hawaii Police Department and report it immediately.

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