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Denver Wants No New Year’s Gunfire

December 28, 1997

DENVER (AP) _ Police have some advice for New Year’s revelers: don’t get out your guns.

The ``Celebrate ’98 with Your Life″ is taking aim at the dangers and legal consequences of firing a weapon in the city.

``It’s a dangerous and stupid thing to do,″ said police spokesman Sgt. Dennis Cribari. ``Those bullets have to land somewhere, and innocent people get hurt. We’re saying that if you do it, there are severe consequences to your actions.″

Consequences include a trip to jail and confiscation of the gun. Someone caught shooting from a car could also lose the car, Cribari said.

On New Year’s Day 1993, 11-year-old Eric Villar ran outside with his cousins to celebrate and was hit behind the ear by a bullet. He was taken off life support 11 hours later.

A similar incident on the Fourth of July in 1985 killed a Denver man standing on his porch.

Police Capt. Juan Maldonado approached residents of his district about trying to prevent the shootings. His plan includes both leaflets and stronger enforcement.

Police Chief Dave Michaud so liked Maldonado’s idea that he ordered it become a departmentwide effort, Cribari said.

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