Houses hit by gunfire

Published 10:26 pm Monday, January 4, 2010

When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, parties around the area reached their climax, with horns blaring and champagne glasses clinking. In various parts of the city, though, celebratory gunfire marked the occasion.

In two of those communities, the situation turned dangerous, as bullets that had apparently been fired in celebration penetrated the homes of neighbors.

The situations were among the first to which Suffolk police responded in the new year. Fortunately, no one was injured in either incident, according to Suffolk spokeswoman Debbie George.

In the first incident, a woman at a home on Nancy Drive heard gunshots at midnight, and then a bullet entered her home through the kitchen sidewall, passing through an interior wall before hitting the wall of an adjacent apartment, losing its energy and falling onto a couch, George said Monday.

At about the same time, in North Suffolk in the 4400 block of Cole Avenue, a man heard shots fired from a handgun outside of his home, looked outside and saw some young black males outside, George said. He shouted at them and they yelled back, “Happy New Year!” she said.

One bullet entered the man’s master bedroom window, and then went through two bathroom walls and into the front bedroom, where it struck a ceiling fan and fell onto the bed, she said.

Aside from the man’s vague description of the people he saw outside, there are no good suspects in either case, George said.

But the cases have been assigned to detectives, who have initiated felony investigations.

“It’s a felony if the residence is occupied,” she said. “Obviously, if someone gets hurt, it’s a whole different ballgame.”

George said shots fired into the air at New Year’s are not uncommon in Suffolk, but she could not recall whether anyone had been hurt or any homes damaged by those shots in the past.