‘It was not fireworks’: Church Hill mother calls 911 after hearing shots fired

Church hill mother calls 911 after shots fired

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Church Hill mother is questioning if authorities took her call to 911 about gunfire seriously after it startled the neighborhood and left her property damaged.

Witnesses said they heard the gunshots around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, and even saw people fighting at the time.

She’s wondering if her call was taken seriously because it’s just days away from Independence Day, when many people illegally fire shots in the air or even shoot fireworks. Both could be confused for someone getting hurt, but Amanda Spiller says she wasn’t confused at all.

"I see people post all the time ‘was that gunshots or were those fireworks’ and people can conflate the two,” Spiller said.

But Sunday night, she wasn’t confused at all.

"My daughter was sitting here in the living room and I was on the stairs. We heard a little bit of yelling out here, and we heard some rapid fire gunshots,” she said.

It was around 9:30 p.m. on Q Street.

"I told her to hit the floor and I got down and grabbed her,” Spiller said.

Later, her fiancé went outside only to find her car window smashed.

"We assumed it was from someone putting their fist on it or something,” she said.

A neighbor said he was outside when the gunshots rang out. He ducked down in his car for his own safety. He didn’t want to be on camera but says he saw two men exchanging gunfire and officers later recovering shell casings.

Richmond police say there are no reports of someone actually being shot.

"The officer that responded, I believe it was about 10 minutes after that 911 call. He said he was in Creighton Court and that he had seen some fireworks and he asked if I thought that’s what it was. I said no,” Spiller said.

With Independence Day coming this week, police are also preparing for calls of celebratory gun fire, which is illegal in Virginia. They remind those celebrating to not do so with guns. Police have a serious job to do, and you can play your part in helping them be able to quickly respond to violent crimes.

When everyone just wants to be safe, there's no time for confusion.

"I knew when I heard people yelling out here and it was rapid fire that it was not fireworks,” Spiller said.

Many fireworks, like firecrackers, sparklers and bottle rockets that explode while rising into the air, are illegal if you’re not licensed. So is firing random shots into the air.

If you know anything about the gunfire in Church Hill, be sure to call police.

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