Florida sheriff warns ‘don’t shoot at Hurricane Irma’ in response to viral Facebook post

(Pasco County Sheriff's Office/NASA)

DADE CITY, Fla. (WATE) — Deputies in Pasco County are warning the public to not shot your guns at Hurricane Irma.

“To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma,” the Pasco County, Florida sheriff tweeted. “You won’t make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects.”

The sheriff’s office’s warning came after a viral Facebook event that jokingly encouraged people to shoot guns at the hurricane to relieve stress and boredom. More than 50,000 people joining the event.

“Let’s show Irma that we shoot first,” writes Ryon Edwards in the event’s description.

Edwards told BBC he created the event out of stress and boredom and never expected the amount of interested he received. He noted that it was a little out of control.

Graphics suggesting how to shoot a hurricane have sprung up online, with the suggestion that if you fire correctly the bullet might not come back and kill you.

Other Facebook pages encourage people to throw flame throwers at the storm to try to scare it away. One of the event’s descriptions reads “It’s time we took a stand against this big bully! This our home nobody drives us out of our own territory.”

Edwards said in a later Facebook post that he was surprised so many people took the post seriously.

“I’ve learned that about 50 percent of the world could not understand sarcasm to save their lives,” Edwards wrote.

He then posted words of encouragement to others in Florida.

“Make sure to help each other out during and after the storm in whatever way you can,” he wrote. “Check on your neighbors, help out, see if any of your local shelters need help…Stay strong Florida.”

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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