Man goes to prison for firing gun into air

Dec. 06, 2012 @ 02:26 PM

A man who was on probation was sent to prison for nine to 20 months after he fired a gun into the air at a party in October.

The man, Carlos Centrell Jennings, 22, was a convicted felon and on probation for a drug offense at the time of the incident on Oct. 14. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.
The incident occurred at a party on Orange Grove Road when there was an altercation between some people, according to Orange County Senior Assistant District Attorney Lamar F. Proctor Jr.
Jennings told sheriff’s deputies, who stopped him as he was driving away from the party, that several people were ready to jump him and he heard someone say they were going to get a gun, so he pulled a gun and shot it into the air.
Jennings, 22, then left the scene, and deputies stopped his vehicle.
As soon a deputy approached his vehicle, Jennings confessed and told the deputy that the gun was under the front driver’s seat. He was polite, cooperative and forthcoming with the deputies, Proctor said.
But because the incident occurred while he was on probation, there was no way that he could remain on probation, Proctor said.
Superior Court Judge Carl Fox told several stories about people who had died when they pulled a gun and shot it into the air, including one in which a man was shot to death by another man in Vance County after he pulled to gun to try to get an unruly group to settle down by shooting into the air.
In that incident, a mother was holding a celebration to honor the life of one son who had died while playing basketball, and during the celebration, some uninvited guests caused a commotion, so her other son pulled a gun and fired it into the air, Fox said.
When he did that someone else pulled a gun and shot her son. The mother lost both of her sons, Fox said.
Fox told Jennings that it was a foolish thing to shoot in the air for many reasons, including the fact that a bullet that goes up comes down and could hit someone in the top of the head and kill them.
Fox gave Jennings credit for immediately taking responsibility when deputies stopped him.
“That says a lot about you,” he said. “You could do a lot of good in your life.”
Fox told Jennings that when he gets out of prison, he should go to a community college and get some education and training.
Jennings apologized for what he did.