Allen County Sheriff new year's eve bullet
Courtesy Allen County Sheriff and Facebook
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By John Seewer, AP

A sheriff in Ohio was sitting in his cruiser on New Year’s Eve when a round of celebratory gunfire ricocheted through his window, struck him in the chest and bounced off his bullet-proof vest.

Allen County Sheriff Matt Treglia said he wasn’t hurt by the bullet that narrowly missed the face of his major who was sitting in the driver’s seat.

“Pretty quickly we knew it was a round,” he said on Friday. “It took me a minute to realize we weren’t being targeted.”

Around the nation, authorities have said at least two people died apparently from celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve.

A 61-year-old woman ringing in the new year was killed by a stray bullet outside her Houston home. The woman’s family and neighbors were shooting off fireworks when she called out that she had been shot, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

In Cleveland, authorities charged a 38-year-old man with reckless homicide after they say he fatally struck his girlfriend while he was “popping off shots” just after midnight.

While it’s rare for people to be hit by celebratory gunfire, law enforcement agencies warn that firing randomly into the air is dangerous.

Some departments that use a system called ShotSpotter, which pinpoints a location where a gun was fired, reported detecting hundreds of shots on New Year’s Eve. Police in Cincinnati received 168 reports of gunfire while there were 341 in Columbus.

Treglia, the sheriff in Allen County, estimates he heard about 200-400 rounds being fired while he was in his cruiser before the bullet hit him.

The sheriff said he and his partner had stopped on the side of a street in Lima and that a city police cruiser pulled up next to them as gunfire was ringing out in the neighborhood.

The bullet that struck him first glanced off the other cruiser and then went through the open window of the sheriff’s car, he said. The round left a thumb-sized dent in the other cruiser, Treglia said.

“If that had been a direct strike, it would have been much more serious,” he said. “It was an eye-opening experience.”

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  1. I’m gonna want to see some clearer “evidence” of an officer being struck before I get all bent out of shape over this. It’s less than a week since an officer was fired for lying about having “pig” written on his coffee cup at Starbucks; the likelyhood of a celebratory round of gunfire hitting an officer’s vest inside a car is just too low for me to believe it without actually seeing evidence.

    • The evidence you’re looking for is a death, right? I’ve been hit by falling shotgun pellets in a public place (overseas) where people weren’t careful of where they were firing…bird “hunting”. Sorry your wish of a bloody officer or a damaged car wasn’t realized this time around. I am often skeptical about police but I have no doubt the officer reported it as it happened. I’ve seen photos of people hit by celebratory gun fire, in the middle of a city, unexpectedly. You learn real quick that in many places within the Middle East not to go out in public on major holidays when idiots are lighting up the skies with tracers fired from machine guns. What goes up must come down eventually. From my apartment in the hills above the city I could observe tracers flying all over the city, sometime an idiot would start shooting in my neighborhood and the rounds were quite close. A person that I was knew of (in my social circle but didn’t know her personally) was hit and nearly killed by a falling bullet shot during a holiday. She made a necklace of it and wears it as a reminder.

      • “A person that I was knew of (in my social circle but didn’t know her personally) was hit and nearly killed by a falling bullet shot during a holiday. She made a necklace of it and wears it as a reminder.”

        I fully understand that sentiment.

        When I get the metal plate and titanium screws removed from my leg, I’m keeping the screws to make into a pendant as a reminder, as well. Bouncing off vehicle windshields is no fun…

      • Sorry, I seriously doubt it, and belittling my opinion just makes me think you’re an ass, not think you’re a genius. A few years back I recall a guy was arrested and charged with manslaughter because he fired a celebratory round from a handgun which supposedly killed someone 3 and one half miles away. Bullshit, on so many levels I can’t even begin. Show me a handgun which can even propel a bullet that far, then attempt to convince me it would have enough energy to break skin. Working the pits at 1000 yards, I saw a 5.56 NATO bullet bounce off the cardboard of the target and fall on the floor beneath our feet. Skittering around (still spinning some 150,000 RPM) sure enough it injured the guy dumb enough to pick it up, because it was over 450 degrees. Even better, though, how exactly did the cops determine who fired the shot which killed someone miles away? Obviously falsified evidence. I hear repeatedly that a bullet fired straight up will come down with enough energy to kill, and I call bullshit. I have a .17 HMR, fires a 17 grain bullet. If you think a 17 grain bullet fired straight up will come down with enough energy to penetrate a sheet of newspaper, you are a moron and never studied the first page of a physics text.

    • It’s actually not that uncommon. In my youth I lived in the inner city of a major metro, and new years sounded exactly like an Iraqi wedding, with several full auto being shot into the air. Certain places in the sticks are like that too. Personally I’m not against celebratory fire. Just do it controlled into a berm, and not into the air like crazed Bedouin.

      • I’m certain that every few million rounds fired into the air result in an injury, most of the time because they were fired closer to horizontal than vertical. The stories come from people who have never noticed that it is difficult to hit something you are *aiming* at, from a mile away. The likelihood of hitting something without even trying is infinitesimal.

    • …apparently comes down softly enough to bounce off someone’s chest.

      Fortunately, this LEO had the presence of mind to assess the situation and stand down instead of calling for an airstrike on the surrounding neighborhood.

      • could have ricocheted off something or passed through something, losing some velocity as well, before hitting the officer. His response was good though.

        • Article states it did ricochet off the car, leaving a thumb-sized dent.
          “The bullet that struck him first glanced off the other cruiser and then went through the open window of the sheriff’s car, he said. The round left a thumb-sized dent in the other cruiser, Treglia said.”

    • I remember this problem in physics class. If fired straight up a projectile will decelerate due to gravity and air friction, reach a static point and then accelerate back to the earth. The maximum velocity on the return trip will not equal that of the initial velocity due to air friction causing terminal velocity.
      A 45 degree angle is different.

      • Even at 45-degrees, the velocity at impact will be less than the maximum velocity (muzzle velocity).

  2. If these mouthbreathers just have to shoot why cant they shoot into the grass? Sound is just as loud. Or better yet, get some blanks

    • My thought exactly as I read this. If I had my druthers (and lived in an area where I could do this without having four MRAPs of SWAT crash teams swarming me), I’d set up Tannerite targets and have some fun. But at ground level with a proper backstop.

      Firing celebratory bullets indiscriminately into the air is so “Middle Eastern”…

      • Load up a shotgun with some dragon’s breath and aim high. Learned the hard way that out of a tac-14 the round doesn’t “flame on” as much as become a flare. Scared the crap outta me.

      • 12- gauge ‘Bird Bangs’ are kinda fun and mostly harmless. A large-ish firecracker that detonates 100 feet or so in the air, depending on launch trajectory. Makes a respectable flash and *boom* :

        • I did an online search. They are expensive, over $1 a shell, in bulk. The restrictions have been relaxed but they’re still watching who buys them.

        • And highly illegal in CA. Anything that explodes in the air is considered to be a mortar round.

        • Interesting. All my experience with mortars is they do not explode in the air. Maybe just in CA, huh?

  3. I saw a third in the news–a little girl hit by a falling bullet. Why do people do such things? Are they really that stupid? Oh wait…
    I remember when a guy was busted in LA for shooting off his Thompson from a rooftop….yeah, they really are that stupid. Then there are those celebratory videos from Middle Eastern weddings with various firearms being fire–usually but not always in the air.

    • where i used to live overseas it happened more in the rural areas (celebratory gunfire at weddings, Bedouin or more tribal communities) and on occasion in the poor suburbs. Most of the celebratory gunfire in the urban areas were from the poorer areas and with tracers fired from automatic weapons.

      Not that long ago I wasn’t thinking and trying to scare my parent’s dog away from a groundhog I fired in the air with a .303, the round hit a poplar tree branch and did enough damage that a 15 ft long branch 1.5-2″ diameter nearly landed on me and the dog. Ensured I wouldn’t do it again. Even way out in the boonies the bullet still has to go somewhere.

    • Micro-stamping/tracking technology would have allowed the police to identify the gun owner. Unless those people shooting into the air are using stolen guns.

      • Your sarcasm is wrong, microstamping is going to affect the primer. So if the casings get picked up or revolver is used, what evidence?

        • Tracking efforts seek to make every purchase of ammo documented to the buyer and with an identifying number to go with it. Background checks and stamping goes along with that. They want to have the barrel and the firing pin leave unique identifying marks that can be tracked back to the gun owner. They also want guns to require location tracking and finger print reading. They would integrate the technology with shot spotters and facial recognition systems setup throughout the city. The advanced system would allow police to “frisk” you and run your information without having to get out of their car.

          From what I have been shown…

          Obviously the concept is doable to extent, but it’s not realistic. However, that does not matter to them because it will cause many manufacturers to go out of business and the amount of guns being sold to be very limited. So, whether it works like the nerds want or simply shuts down old tech, the outcome is the same in their minds.

          The people making such tech have also created software for cameras to scan the human body and determine if they have a gun on them or in their hand and to capture/document the serial number of the gun for their databases. It’s old tech, but it’s finally being implemented in America through Google and Facebook websites.

        • So you’re pushing for Big Brother to watch over everyone, documenting their every move as well as their possessions without a warrant. Sounds like freedom.

  4. Why do gun owners feel the need to fire their guns into the air? For sure those people need to be raided and disarmed for actually putting innocent people at risk. Maybe next year the SWAT team can drive around with thermal to catch gun owners in the act and raid them without hesitation.

    • You really don’t have a grasp on current technology do you? You also seem to hate liberty in general. With that said yes there are a small number of dumbass gun owners that do stupid stuff. Let me know when the damage they do exceeds what drunk drivers manage over a weekend.

    • What on earth makes these people think these injured folk were not simply victims of murder/attempted murder?

  5. I’ve been told time and time again that closely counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.

  6. Okay, what’s up, TTAG? I’ve been a daily and frequent commenter here for quite a while now. Why does the CAPTCHA keep randomly coming up within the same open browser and after I’ve already posted half a dozen comments?

    And why do some of my comments just disappear? I just posted another one, had to go through the CAPTCHA step (yet again), and when I refreshed the page, it’s now gone, after initially being posted.

    This site has gremlins.

      • I learned how to do the HTML tags only two weeks ago. These problems have been happening for almost a year.

        • I’ve played with the filter but not extensively.

          It has some words and phrases it doesn’t seem to like. Certain punctuation too. Why? No idea.

        • It happens reliably to me with HTML tags, which is why I don’t use them anymore.

          Also happens from time to time, seemingly randomly, on Brave browser, which is Chrome plus an ad & script blocker and minus the spying.

          Almost never happens on Google Chrome with all the cookies and no ad blocking or script blocking.

          Clearly there are some things the bot filter doesn’t like, but it’s very unclear what they actually are. I just wish it could filter out communist nincompoops like Vlad the Crisco Boy Impaler. Maybe one day we’ll get there…

      • I wrote out a really witty retort to your comment, but just decided to delete it. I don’t want to give you any ideas and make you think you’re smarter than you really are…

    • Another trigger is commenting too frequently in a given time frame.

      That gets hyper-annoying when engaged in a near-realtime back-and-forth debate with someone…

      • You may be correct, though if so, I wonder how ‘ol Vlad and PG seem to slip under the radar, with all the comments they spew up and down a thread within a short amount of time. 🙂

  7. Peoples are idiots. I can believe what it sounds like in The background of that video. Idiots galore apparently. Only eyeliner wearing boy loving middle easterners do that crap. Don’t be an eyeliner wearing boy lover.

  8. Dumb people do this kind of thing with alarming regularity. Fortunately the bullets don’t usually come down in a location that they harm someone.

    But occasionally they do. When I was growing up a girl “dropped dead” with out-of-the-blue head trauma jogging outside of town. This scared the shit out of a passing motorist who lost control and hit a tree. Turned out that a .30-06 round fired into the air came down on the top of the jogger’s head, passed through and exited her chin. The Sheriff’s Office never figured out who fired that round. At least she didn’t suffer.

    • Bullets that are fired at a high angle and come down- i.e. through the head and chin- do not have enough energy at terminal velocity (i.e. gravity) to go through a skull. So either she was in a weird position and someone was firing at a shallow angle (not much ‘in the air’) or someone decided to shoot that girl and the investigators blew it.

      • This just simply isn’t true. Virtually any angle other than 90 (straight up) will produce a parabolic arc unless wind prevents that from happening. Also, because the bullet didn’t actually lose all of it’s upward momentum and simply begin to fall back to Earth it will usually continue to spin which allows it to defeat much of the air resistance that would normally slow it down if it was simply dropped from the same height as it reaches at the top of it’s arc.

        The Army studied this in depth back in the 1920’s and even high angle shots return to earth at between 90 and 210m/s depending on the type of round, atmospheric conditions, altitude the round was fired from etc. That’s 204 to 477 miles per hour.

        Now, that’s a fraction of the speed they leave the muzzle but it’s still enough to kill. Tests done on this indicate that a spitzer tipped rifle bullet requires about 90mph to deliver a fatal wound through bone (as opposed to 00 buck which requires at least 130mph) and such a round, unless fired essentially straight up, can easily come down with double or even more than five times that velocity.

        If you run the calculations on this you’ll find that a .30-06 round fired up, even at a high angle, can in fact easily come down with the same force of as a 9mm round fired parallel to the ground has at 100 meters. Actually, due to the nature of the rifle bullet’s design if conditions are right it can impact with substantially more force than 9mm JHP produces at 100m.

        Put another way, pull the data on .30-06 and you’ll find that the round is easily capable of returning to Earth with the same force it would have if the rifle was fired at a target ~1200m away horizontally.

        • 9.8 meters per second is all a fallin ? Bullet gets. Subtract wind resistance and you end up with a little tiny hole in soft dirt.

          Adam and Jamie proved it.

        • GS650G, that’s actually (9.8 meters per second) per second. Or for every second of flight time the vertical velocity in down direction increases by 9.8 m/s, until the terminal velocity (in the down direction) is reached. This vertical velocity component is separate from the horizontal velocity.

        • Bullfeathers. If a rifle bullet can penetrate bone at 90 mph, a major league pitcher could throw a baseball completely through a person. That statement is OBVIOUSLY false.

      • That’s not true. See the episode of MYTHBUSTERS where they experiment with falling bullets.

  9. JUST NOW saw a video on the local newz of some 15 or 20 Detroit gangbangers “celebrating” new years.Hundreds of rounds.They’ve tracked down some of the scum as they were on parole(!) A kid was killed a few years ago in nearby Hammond,IN by a “falling” boo-lit. How about Life in prison for these lowlife-‘s(yeah it was LOUD at midnight this year!)?

  10. All these motherfuckers were posting videos of themselves shooting into the air on their own social media. They know nothing will ever happen to them.

    Hint: None of them are white NRA members…

  11. They mention ShotSpotter – so they were able to respond quickly and apprehend the culprits? Or did they just print out a report at the end of the night and say “Gee, would you look at that? “

  12. Unfortunately, the Middle East does not have a monopoly on negligent discharge and ignorance of backstops downrange.

    In today’s news:

    “A South Carolina man and and his daughter died after being shot while hunting deer on New Year’s Day, a relative of the victims told CNN affiliate WCBD.

    Kim Drawdy, 30, and his 9-year-old daughter, Lauren, were hunting Wednesday near their home in Walterboro, South Carolina, according to Benny Drawdy, Kim’s brother.
    The two were shot by hunters after being mistaken for deer, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). The agency said a group of four hunters was driving deer, which is when a group walks toward the animals to move them, but it did not give further details on how two of the hunters were shot.”

  13. Have any of you people taken notice of the Los Vegas, Mandalay Bay hotel massacre? The perp was shooting at people 500-600 meters away. A perusal of a ballistics chart reveals that the projectiles had lost about 90% of their kinetic energy. In spire of this, the little rodent rifles managed to kill a lot of people.

  14. I loaded shotgun shells with only 5 grains of Greendot and stuffed cotton for a payload in the wad. Made great noisemakers with a fireball of cotton sometimes. No one gets hurt.

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