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Witness describes seeing woman fire gun during annual Fourth of July celebration in LaGrange

The woman was charged with discharging a firearm while under the influence, reckless conduct, and public drunkenness, Troup County Sheriff's Office says.

LAGRANGE, Ga. — The Troup County Sheriff's Office says a woman fired a gun during a Fourth of July fireworks show and celebration in LaGrange Monday night. Nobody was hurt but many people felt forced to run to safety.

In that crowd, was 22-year-old Savannah Gonzalez. 

“My niece actually looked at me and she was like, 'That's not fireworks,' and I was like, 'just calm down.' It was more like a little bit of panic that we got to get out of here. Calm down, stay calm," she recalled.

As a LaGrange resident, Gonzalez has gone to this Fourth of July gathering at Pyne Road Park for six years straight, but never felt the need to run for safety.

"People around her were like, 'She has a gun, she has a gun.' People, of course, were taking off in different directions," she said.

RELATED: Highland Park parade shooting suspect charged with 7 counts of murder

She remembers looking towards West Point Lake and seeing a woman holding a gun, about 50 feet away from her and her family.

“She had pointed towards the lake and fired a shot at the lake instead of trying to fire it at somebody else or trying to hold somebody else at gunpoint," Gonzalez added. "It was like anger ensued her and she just shut it off at the lake."

Troup County Sergeant Stewart Smith says deputies quickly responded after hearing reports of a large fight.

“It's dark out there. It is pitch black. So we were just relying on headlights and flashlights, and whatever we could. We had ATVs to get down there. I just can't say enough about our team for responding as a team to get down there and take care of the situation," Smith said.

Credit: Savannah Gonzalez

He says about 15 officers responded, and they were able to arrest the 37-year-old LaGrange woman without incident.

"She was engaged in an argument or an altercation with maybe just a handful of people, but because there were so many people around once the chaos started, all the people started fleeing in several different directions," he added. "As she was leaving the area, she tossed the gun in the direction of a car and we did recover the handgun."

Sergeant Smith adds that there were about 30 people in the general area where this took place. 

Gonzalez says her fight or flight reaction kicked in, and as she was putting her family members in her vehicle, she witnessed the suspect getting arrested. She says the whole incident lasted about two minutes.

"They ended up arresting her and the show continued," she said. "They pulled her out of the area, diffused the people that were causing the drama and causing the mishap, and were all removed and the day went on according to plan."

The woman arrested has since been charged with three misdemeanors, including discharging a firearm while under the influence, reckless conduct, and public drunkenness.

Everyone is grateful this didn't end in a tragic situation, like in Highland Park, Illinois this Fourth of July.

RELATED: Who were the victims of the Highland Park parade shooting?

“Unfortunately, there's been a lot of tragic shootings in the country and around this area. We're very fortunate that this didn't end in a way it could have ended," Smith added.

Credit: Savannah Gonzalez

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