Family feared for safety after fireworks led to gunshots

Crime

A Sioux Falls family is on edge after fireworks led to gunshots right in their backyard. Sioux Falls Police are investigating a fight in an eastside neighborhood. Police say it happened Monday night. It started when a group of teens had a get together in a backyard, and lit a mortar firework — which can severely injure people and is illegal in city limits. A neighbor told the group to stop. Police say the teens confronted him and it escalated. Another neighbor says he was only trying to help, but had no idea he’d end up running away from a gun, and fearing for his and his children’s lives.

“Here’s where one of the bullets hit,” Anthony Brown said.

A-B-C. Police left letters above bullet holes in Brown’s house.

“This wasn’t just a simple firework misunderstanding,” Brown said.

Brown was in his house with his kids when he heard a commotion outside his door.

“I heard this loud explosion. Right after the explosion, I heard an argument,” Brown said.

Brown says he went outside to help his neighbor and saw a group of about 20 people.

“I just yell at the guys, ‘hey, leave him alone. Leave my neighbor alone,” Brown said.

That’s when he says four people jumped his fence and got in his face. Brown says he starting going back in his house, but a few people started chasing him. He says one had a gun.

“I hear a pop, pop, pop,” Brown said.

Brown thought he was alone. He wasn’t.

“I didn’t know my daughter had followed me outside and she was standing right over here. As soon as she heard the pop, she screams, dad, dad,” Brown said.

The father of three got everyone inside, and locked the door, but he heard more gunshots.

“I open my front door and a guy’s driving right past me and a guy is driving right by my front window. I see the muzzle blast and he shoots right at me and it hits my house,” Brown said.

One of the bullets traveled through his basement wall right into his family room.

“Whoever shot that gun took it with them,” Sam Clemens, public information officer for the Sioux Falls Police Department, said.

Sioux Falls Police are investigating, and still looking for suspects and the weapon.

“Shooting at a house, people don’t necessarily think that’s a big deal. You have to remember there’s people inside and bullets travel through walls,” Clemens said.

Clemens says police are interviewing people in the neighborhood, but officers haven’t arrested anyone yet. The Browns hope investigators catch whoever did this.

“To these mothers, my heart breaks because we all know where this ends. At least this time it wasn’t with one of us and their quick to aim wild west mentality,” Katy Brown said.

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