Celebratory gunfire in Shelby County pierces woman’s couch

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Despite pleas from law enforcement, celebratory gunfire rang in the new year all across the city of Memphis.

A bullet believed to have been fired during a New Year's Eve celebration landed in a Alberta Perry's couch early Wednesday morning.

Perry's son Mariel Perry said the bullet came through the roof of the Migaldi Drive home, then pierced the couch in the living room. It landed in the spot where his mother usually sits. Thankfully, she was in the kitchen preparing a meal for New Year's Day when it happened.

“Normally she’d be laying there," Mariel Perry said. "Somebody had a rifle, the police came and got the bullet. They shot it into the air, and it came down like a bomb.”

Memphis Police said they received numerous calls about gunfire on New Year's Eve and have at least one other incident where gunfire caused significant damage. A stray bullet flew through a woman’s windshield just outside a downtown apartment complex.

Law enforcement doesn’t seem to have many options, as bullets can travel thousands of feet, making it hard to find and charge the shooter.

“A bullet that’s fired into the air has the potential to come down at the velocity of 300 feet per second," MPD Col. Keith Watson said. "The results of that can be property damage, serious bodily injury or fatal consequences.”

A Houston woman was killed by gunfire from the air as she was ringing in the New Year.

For people like the Perry family - who simply wanted a quiet night at home heading into 2020, it’s scary that a random thoughtless act could have deadly results.

“She was violated," daughter Cynthia Thomas said. "She was in her own home, minding her business, doing her thing. People, wake up! Guns are dangerous.”

A police report was filed in Perry's incident, but so far authorities are not sure who is responsible.

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