ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Retired St. Petersburg Police Officer Les Harris woke up on New Year's Day to find a bullet hole in his back patio ceiling that he said was caused by celebratory gunfire.
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"I look up and I say, 'This looks like a hole, a bullet hole' and I say 'No way,'" said Harris. "I got my ladder, climbed up on the roof and saw the hole going through. Then I get my flashlight looking in the areas and I see the bullet… on the ground over there."
Harris said he was celebrating New Year's Eve in downtown St. Pete and nobody was home at the time the bullet struck. The retired officer has a table and chairs under the area where the bullet struck at the home located on the 5400 block of 7th Street S.
Harris has no doubt that celebratory gunfire could've easily killed someone.
"Somebody would've gotten shot, fragments or whatever," he said. "Sitting there, get hit in the head, shoulder and go through, would do a lot of damage."
Harris said it's upsetting that residents still shoot off their guns on holidays after being repeatedly warned about the deadly risk to the community.
"Goes up fast and comes down as fast as it went up," he said. "It's disappointing because every year you hear the news report, you hear the people say about celebratory shooting, ‘Don't do it.' And people still do it and now I'm a victim of it."