How often do Indianapolis police respond to calls about celebratory gunfire?
“Far more than we should,” said Lt. Shane Foley, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokesman.
Unfortunately, with this gunfire, a 13-year-old Indiana boy has died after being struck in the head by a falling bullet, police said.
Noah Inman had been playing basketball with a group of children on July 1 when he suddenly collapsed to the concrete.
Witnesses called an ambulance, thinking he’d suffered a seizure. At the hospital, staff determined he had been struck by a bullet, most likely fired by someone celebrating the Fourth of July, police said.
“There’s a lot of noise,” Hammond Police Lt. Steve Kellogg said. “They don’t buy fireworks, so they want to contribute to the noise,” he said of people who fire handguns into the air.
Noah was flown to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago, where he died Friday, Kellogg said.
“The Hammond Police Department would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the Inman family. We wish you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days and loving memories to hold in your hearts,” the department said in a statement.
“Our hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow.”
His death remains a horrible tragedy for his Indiana community, which is trying to find answers and figure out who the horrible person was who fired the bullet into the sky that fell and killed Noah while he was playing basketball with a group of his best friends.
Police say an investigation determined the bullet had likely been fired skyward, like fireworks. It’s illegal to discharge a weapon within Hammond’s city limits.
According to AWM:
Indiana police are now on a manhunt for the murderer who shot the bullet into the sky. Although the person would not likely be charged with first- or second-degree murder in Noah’s case, it is possible for them to face a manslaughter charge since they discharged the firearm near a basketball court that often had children at it.
“Unfortunately, this is a common action by many people who own guns in our city, and they need to know this action has consequences and will be dealt with severely by the Hammond Police Department,” the police department said in a statement. “We ask the public to please keep your Fourth of July celebrations to the use of legal fireworks only.”
Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. called Noah’s murder a “ridiculous fluke.”
“I don’t know what [people who shoot their guns in the air] think happens — the bullet disappears into thin air?” the mayor said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The bullet could’ve come from Munster, Cal City, East Chicago, really anywhere close by.”