A man who fired a gun into the air in 2012 was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday.
Francis Aponte, 47, had a previous criminal record that included at least one prior felony.
The Philadelphia man was at an outdoor party near 4th and Indiana in June of 2012 when two Philadelphia police officers saw him shoot a gun into the sky.
Although no one was hurt by what Huffington Post has described as the “celebratory gunshots”, federal prosecutor Jose Arteaga argued that Aponte committed a potentially lethal offense.
“I can cite an example of a four-year-old boy who was killed when the bullet entered the top of his head when an individual fired a gun into the air,” Arteaga said.
“There was a seven-year-old that was killed. There was a 34-year-old woman that was killed while she was standing in a backyard,” Arteaga continued.
In a similar case dating back to New Year’s Eve 1998, Joey Jaskolka was hit by stray gunfire in Philadelphia. Jaskolka has sustained permanent damage from the injury; he has undergone more than 50 surgeries, plus countless hours of rehabilitation.
Aponte faced a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison, with a maximum sentence of life in jail.
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