On New Year’s Eve 2012, so called “celebratory gunfire” launched a bullet skyward that struck 13 year old Ruskin resident Diego Duran in the head. Duran was seriously injured and was rushed to surgery. He was in a coma for a month. Duran has spent months after that in recovery and rehabilitation.
Duran’s family has begun a Bullet-Free Sky campaign to raise awareness for the dangers of firing guns into the air and hopefully prevent tragic incidents such as the one that befell Diego six months ago.
On the very same New Year’s Eve night Duran was shot, officers from my squad responded to a call of a child hit by a bullet. A falling bullet from celebratory gunfire had pierced the roof of the residence and impacted the child in his bed. Luckily, the scared child was not injured. The family was extremely shaken up.
In Georgia, 4 year old Marquel Peters was killed by a falling bullet as he sat in church on New Year’s Eve 2010. Marquel’s Pledge is a campaign started by his mother to end celebratory gunfire. Another awareness campaign called One Bullet Kills the Party was started in Miami.
I guess I’m skeptical that people will stop their stupid, dangerous behavior, like firing guns in the air for fun. This lack of sense keeps me employed. That said, maybe these tragedies and campaigns will at least change a few minds and reduce the number of errant holiday projectiles. Stay safe.
Update: Innocent citizens were hit by stray bullets on July 4, 2012 in Safety Harbor, FL and West Palm Beach, FL. Both were lucky and will survive…