- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 30, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix police hope efforts to end random gunfire on New Year’s Eve continue to pay off this year.

The department has seen an 80 percent reduction in the past 17 years in calls related to shots fired between 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.

Police say the news media has played an important role in spreading the message that shooting a gun in the air can be deadly.

Fourteen-year-old Shannon Smith was killed in 1999 when a bullet fired into the air struck her. That year police got nearly 1,000 calls about shots fired in a single hour. By last year, that number had fallen to 206 calls.

Phoenix police officers will hand out informational flyers around town on Wednesday to discourage random gunfire.

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