Columbus woman warns of dangers from celebratory gunfire


COLUMBUS – Jasmine Coleman Sammur is becoming an expert at telling a "really crazy" story.

“It was really crazy,” she said. “It came straight down. It hit me right in the chest.”

Jasmine is referring to the bullet that fell from the sky and struck her in the chest eight years ago. It was 2009, Jasmine was attending the Fourth of July Red, White and Boom celebrations with family and friends.

That’s when she felt a pain in her chest.

She was taken to Grant Medical Center where doctors confirmed the news – she had been shot – likely by celebratory gunfire.

As we approach New Year’s Eve celebrations, Jasmine is urging anyone considering celebrating by firing shots to reconsider.

“You are always at risk. What goes up must come down. It’s going to land somewhere or in somebody. So it’s not safe. It’s very dangerous,” Jasmine Coleman Sammur told 10 Investigates during an interview Thursday.

Columbus Police data shows hundreds of shots fired calls often plague dispatchers and police on holidays like the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve.

10 Investigates filed an open records request for shots fired runs over the past two years. What we found – 282 “shots fired” calls were called in during New Year’s Eve 2016 into January 1, 2017. There were 251 recorded “shots fired” calls on New Year’s Eve 2015. It’s difficult to know from the data provided how many of them were actually celebratory gunfire.

You can view our map of the 2016 to 2017 data here:

Here is the data for 2015 to 2016:

The issue has drawn enough concern from public officials and members of the community that Columbus Police are planning a news conference at 10 a.m. to discuss the dangers.

In previous years, Columbus Police have joined local pastors to discourage people from using firearms to ring in the new year. From 2011 to 2014, Columbus also created this heat map showing where the majority of calls were coming from.

Even though Jasmine is years removed from the incident, she says it still affects her daily life.

“I don’t like to go to the Fourth of July anymore. I don’t go downtown. I don’t go to events. I like to stay in the house you never know what can happen. It did have a big impact on my life,” she said.