Man Claims New Year’s Gunfire Was Not Aimed At Police


UPDATED: Tuesday January 1, 2013 6:38 PM

Authorities arrested one person after police reported shots being fired at them early New Year's Day.

The emergency crews had responded to a disturbance call on East 18th Avenue on the city's near north side.

Officers had a brief standoff with a man who was in the home along with another person. He left the residence around 1:15 a.m. and was taken into custody.

Tuesday the man told WBNS-10TV that he was not firing at law enforcement officials.

“When I came out, I fired my gun into the dirt, I guess they thought I was firing at them, and they started shooting at me,” said David Washington.

Washington says he fires his 9 millimeter every year to welcome in the New Year, but he never expected the response he would get from police.

“The next thing I know, the police were telling me to come out with my hands up,” said Washington

Mark Smetanko lives across the street.

“There were cops all over hiding behind their cars" said Smetanko

Smetanko said that officers were on his porch responding to a disturbance at his home when the man across the street started firing.

“And the cops pulled their flashlilghts shined it on him told him to stop and put down the gun,” said Smetanko

Washington said he fired four shots into the ground and went back into house, moments later he says SWAT rolled in.

He denies that he refused to come out when asked by police.

Shaiquan Toler lives next door.

“It was terrifying. Honestly, there was a giant SWAT car in our street,” said Toler.

He said police told his family to wait in the basement until it was safe to come outside. They stayed there for around 3 hours.

It was not the kind of New Year’s celebration he or his neighbors intended.

As for Washington, 10TV asked him why he thought it was ok to fire his gun outside.

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