A 12 year old boy in Ruskin, FL was struck in the head by a falling bullet on New Year’s Eve. He was outside enjoying the evening with his family when he collapsed in the front yard.
The family did not hear nearby gunfire, only fireworks. When they rushed to the boy, he had blood coming from his nose and mouth. Family members did not know he was shot. They took him straight to a hospital.
It was theorized by the Hillsborough County, FL Sheriff’s Office that the bullet which critically injured the boy was fired from miles away. Media reports ironically call these shots “celebratory gunfire.” I think that is in poor taste.
I worked Mids on New Year’s Eve last week. At Readoff, I observed how I was taught to park under a bank overhang or other roof at Midnight on New Year’s Eve or the Fourth of July to stay out of the way of falling bullets. Not being on a call just before Midnight, I parked my CVPI in a bank drive thru. I could hear distant (and not so distant) gunfire.
About fifteen minutes later, our units were dispatched to a child hit by a bullet. When our guys got on scene, they found out the child was, thankfully, not hurt. This falling bullet had pierced the roof of the child’s mobile home and landed on the scared kid. It easily could have found a less protected target.
It is unfortunate that we would have to defend ourselves against such illegal, negligent, and unnecessary behavior as “celebratory gunfire,” but we must. The boy in my city was extremely lucky. The 12 year old in Ruskin was not. He is currently in a coma.
Randall is a twenty-four year police officer in Florida. He is currently his department’s K9 Sergeant and SWAT Coordinator.