RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Police Department is warning residents about the dangers of celebrating the new year with gunfire.

The police department said randomly firing a gun is illegal and deadly. Last year, during New Year’s celebration a 28-year-old mother of two lost her life.

La-tiyah S. Hood was struck by celebratory gunfire in the 2500 block of North Avenue and died at a local hospital.

Hood’s mother, Stephanie Brandon, has provided the attached photos of her and the following statement, in hopes of preventing a tragedy like this from happening again:

“The promise of a new year changed my life forever. A celebration cheated 2 sons from their mom, 10 siblings of their sister, 4 nieces of their auntie, a grieving mother of her beloved daughter.

The family birthdays, holidays, family celebrations will be less our love because of another’s careless mistake. This mom will miss her sons’ weddings, children born, graduations.

Happy New Year 2021, please bring our family joy and peace of the thought of lessons learned from this tragedy.

We love and miss you Ta Ta. Rest in Heaven. RIH”

A 26-year-old named Mateen B. Johnson was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the incident.

Anyone with information on individuals who plan to behave in this illegal and reckless way or if they hear shots fired should call 911.

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