Celebratory Gunfire – Where Do the Bullets Land?

From 1985 through 1992, 118 people were treated at King/Drew for such injuries on those holidays and 38 of them died, Dr. Gary J. Ordog and his colleagues reported recently in the Journal of Trauma. A full 75% of the survivors suffered severe long-term disabilities, the doctors reported, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, seizures and chronic pain.
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The mortality rate from such random shootings, about 32%, is much higher than the 2% to 6% normally associated with gunshot wounds, Ordog said. That is probably because 77% of the victims were hit in the head, which is especially vulnerable to gunshot wounds, he added.*

“Data show the 77% of reported celebratory firing results in injury to the head, 12% to the shoulder, 5% to the upper back, 2% to the posterior chest and neck, respectively, and 1% to the upper arm, leg, and foot each.”*



Mario Jovanovski (top of head)
7/4/2016 – Columbus, OH
“Mario Jovanovski, 21, and his girlfriend Amanda McGarran met at John Bishop Park Sunday evening right before the fireworks started. ‘The first fireworks went off and he grabbed his head and said babe, I’ve just been shot,’ said McGarran. She said the impact knocked him to his knees.”*


Diego Duran (top of head)
1/1/2012 – Ruskin, FL
Entry:

Termination (no exit):

“The bullet went into his left front parietal part of the cranium, the direction was diagonal. On it’s way, diagonally, it did fracture, I believe, two of the facial bones, one that’s behind the nose and one behind the eyeball. And, it was trapped behind the [right front cheekbone].”*

“ ‘It’s like I have to be cautious of my head. I have a shunt, it’s a tube that goes all the way down to my stomach and it drains fluids,’ he said as he traced the path through his body.”*


Joe Jaskolka (top of head)
1/1/1999 – Philadelphia, PA
“But police still don’t know the caliber of bullet that struck Jaskolka on the top of his head because the projectile is still lodged near the base of the boy’s brain.”*


Shannon Smith (top of head)
6/16/1999 – Phoenix, AZ
“A single bullet had struck Shannon on the top of her head. Police believe it was fired straight up within a mile of Shannon’s home. Several residents reported hearing gunfire the night Shannon was killed, but no suspects ever emerged.”*


Brendon Mackey (top of head)
7/4/2016 – Midlothian, VA
“A seven-year-old boy died Friday after being shot in the head by a stray bullet Thursday night while watching Fourth of July fireworks, police say.” […] “It wasn’t until the boy was taken to the hospital that doctors discovered a bullet wound in the top of his head, Badgerow says, according to the station.”*


Aaliyah Boyer (top of head)
1/1/2013 – Elkton, MD
“Aaliyah Boyer was killed when Cecil County Sheriff’s officials said a bullet fell from the sky and struck her on the top of her head.”*


Marquel Peters (top of head)
1/1/2010 – Decatur, GA
“The stray bullet came through the roof of the sanctuary of the Church of God of Prophecy and struck Marquel in the top of his head.”* “The boy, playing with a video game, and his mother were waiting for a 12:30 a.m. concert to begin at Church of God of Prophecy near Decatur when Marquel was shot in the head by a stray bullet. Marquel was on the floor, crying and bleeding, when medics arrived, but he died later at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.”*


Grant Pinkstaff (near top of head)
7/4/2016 – Tulsa, OK
“The bullet entered near the top of his head and traveled under the skin around his skull. It is now resting permanently near the back of his head.”*


Javier Suarez Rivera (top of head)
1/1/2015 – Houston, TX
“Friends and family gather in support of 16-year-old Keyla Rivera, whose father died about 1 a.m. Thursday in southeast Houston after being hit in the top of his head by a bullet.”*


Brandon Yam (top of head)
7/4/2014
“Charlotte-Mecklenburg police reports indicate that around 9:25 p.m., Yam was struck ‘in the top of the head by a stray bullet.’ ”*


Amy Silberman (top of head)
12/31/1994 – New Orleans, LA
“[O]n New Year’s Eve 1994, Boston tourist Amy Silberman was killed by a falling bullet while watching fireworks on the Moonwalk along the Mississippi river. One moment she was listening to music and talking to friends in the massive holiday crowd, the next she was falling to the ground, a bullet lodged in the top of her head.”*


Richard Smeraldo (bill of cap)
7/4/2012 – Safety Harbor, FL
“The bullet traveled through the bill of Smeraldo’s cap, into the bridge of his nose, out his right nostril, through the upper portion of his bottom lip and exited though his lower chin.”*


Roof of House
7/4/2016 – Hencrico, VA
“Police say the victim reported gunfire around 9:45 p.m., with one round flying through the roof of her home. Officers determined it wasn’t intentional; it was celebratory gunfire, shooting illegally into the air.”*


Roof of House
1/4/2016 – Northland, OH
“A Glenhaven Drive resident also reported that apparent celebratory gunfire damaged his house. In a report filed at 9 a.m. Jan. 1, the man said a .45-caliber round crashed through the roof sometime after 2 a.m.”*


Roof of House
1/1/2016 – Sacramento, CA
“ ‘We just heard the bullet go right through the ceiling,’ she said. In a panic, Jimenez jumped up only to find the bullet inches away from the couch where she and her three young children were sitting.’ “*


Hood of Car
1/1/2016 – Stockton, CA


Windshield of Car
1/1/2016


Branon Vaughan
7/4/2016 – Tulsa, OK
“The force of the impact made Branon Vaughan stumble left, then to the right, finally dropping to a knee with his arms on a wall to brace himself. The 35-year-old wondered if he had walked into a street sign. Seeing none in the area, he reasoned it might have been a beer can thrown at him.”*

Entry:

Termination (no exit):


Saul Bermudez
7/4/2016 – Kansas City, MO

“Police obtained the bullet that was pulled from the teen’s shoulder. They said they may have a difficult time tracking down where it came from, as bullets can travel over a mile and a half.”*


Amber Bartles
1/1/2016 – St. Petersburg, FL
“I was standing but leaning on a car. If I was standing up straight it would’ve gone right through my head.”*


Officer Travis Weber
1/1/2016 – Stockton, CA
” ‘I heard a loud pop and then felt a sting to my right leg. The loud pop was it (bullet) hitting the vehicle and then ricocheting toward me,’ Weber said.”*


Window of House
1/1/2006 – Stockton, CA


Shower
1/1/2016 – Snellville, GA
“About an hour later Adrian said he walked into their bathroom and found a bullet laying in his shower. ‘I opened my shower and stepped in and immediately saw the fragments of tile there,’ said Adrian. ‘The bullet hole entered right at the base of my shower.” The Hayes family believes it was celebratory gunfire.’ “*


Kaitlyn Jacobs
1/1/2015 – Tampa, FL
“Was sitting in the Gwazi Pavilion area just before midnight when she suddenly felt pain in her lower left leg.” […] ” ‘The biggest thing is we don’t understand how there are two holes and a bullet in my leg,’ said Jacobs.”*


Blair Shanahan Lane
7/12/11 – Kansas City, MO
“Five years ago, Blair was dancing with her cousins during a party. A stray bullet struck Blair in the neck and killed her; the bullet was shot from a distance more than three football fields away.”*


Man Hit in Stomach
7/4/2016 – Corpus Christi, TX
“Corpus Christi Police responded to the home, located in the 4200 block of Easy Street just before 9:30 PM, and when Officers arrived they were told that a bullet came through the kitchen window and hit the homeowner who was sitting inside in the stomach. Luckily, he was not injured by the bullet. Officers believe the shot came from an open field near the home, where gunfire had been heard earlier in the evening.”*