PHOENIX (CBS 5 INVESTIGATES) - One morning last October, Colin Vogel awoke to find a bullet lodged in a garden hose next to his central Phoenix home. He suspects the stray round came from somewhere north of his neighborhood, and he believes he and his family are lucky nobody was outside when the bullet fell from the sky.

[WATCH: Number of shots fired calls drops across the Phoenix area]

Fewer police calls for "shots fired" in Phoenix

"If it strikes the hose or my yard, it's no big deal," he said. "But if it hits any one of the kids who are playing in this neighborhood or any of the adults, it's a big deal."

A CBS 5 Investigation found the number of calls to Phoenix police from people reporting gunfire has dropped significantly over the past four years.

In 2016, there were 3,382 calls. In 2017, the number dropped to 3,144. In 2018, the number was 2,900. And as of mid-August of this year, there were 1,698 calls for shots fired.

That's a decrease from 9.2 calls per day to 7.2 calls.

People who live in the areas most affected by random gunfire say they have noticed a difference.

"It's gotten better. I've noticed a drop," said Steve Schuman, who has lived in his neighborhood just west of central Phoenix for 11 years.

The streets in Schuman's neighborhood are lined with homes that have been recently renovated. Its sidewalks are filled with children playing after school. Schuman says the reduction in the number of gunshots at night has had a significant impact on his neighborhood and his quality of life.

"It just makes me feel safer. I don't worry about being outside at night," Schuman said.

The Phoenix Police Department says the reduction of shots fired calls is in line with an overall decrease in violent crime across the city.

CBS 5 Investigates plotted every call for shots fired on a map. Click here to see the number of gunshots reported in your neighborhood.

Morgan Loew's hard-hitting investigations can be seen weekdays on CBS 5 News at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
 
 


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