GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Imagine sitting outside on your porch and hearing gunshots in the distance. That’s what a Greensboro family experienced on New Year’s Eve when a bullet missed their 10-year-old child.
“That’s my baby,” Shannon Poteat said.
Poteat smiled as she showed FOX8 pictures of her 10-year-old daughter Zoey.
“She’s my world. I couldn’t imagine life without her,” she said.
On New Year’s Eve, the family gathered outside to ring in 2022.
“The neighbors were doing fireworks. She was excited to come out at midnight to see the grand finale and do the countdown to 2022. When the fireworks started, it was a lot of noise, but we noticed gunshots started to come in between the fireworks and shortly after something fell right beside her leg,” she said.
That something was a bullet.
“Immediately, I was like ‘this is gunshots let’s go.’ When she realized it, she really got scared. She panicked, and I made her run through the door as fast as possible, and we just went in,” Poteat said.
She shared her story on social media, hoping to raise awareness about firing guns.
“That bullet could have hit her if she was standing probably an inch or two over. The outcome would have been so much different, so I think about how I could be in 2022 in a very detrimental way vs a celebratory way,” she said.
The 10-year-old’s mom has held on to the bullet as a reminder of how fortunate her family was.
“My biggest fear was that my child could have been seriously hurt or my child not being here with me anymore. That by itself is just hard to think about,” she said.
And to remind others that every bullet has a destination even if it is not the intended target.
“A bullet doesn’t have a particular distance or person in mind. I hope it opens my neighbors’ eyes to think first before shooting in the air,” Poteat said.
She tells FOX8 she did not file a police report because everything happened so fast.
A spokesperson with Greensboro Police Department says throughout the New Year’s holiday, they responded to more than 70 dispatched weapon calls.
Police say it’s hard to determine of those calls, how many were related to celebratory gunfire.