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Tuesday, November 25, 2003 Posted: 12:21 AM EST (0521 GMT)
JOHNSON CITY, Tennessee (AP) --
A bullet fired in the air during a Ku Klux Klan initiation ceremony came down and struck a participant in the head, critically injuring him, authorities said.
Gregory Allen Freeman, 45, was charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment in the Saturday night incident that wounded Jeffery S. Murr, 24.
About 10 people, including two children, had gathered for the ceremony. The man who was being initiated was blindfolded, tied with a noose to a tree and shot with paintball guns as Freeman fired a pistol in the air to provide the sound of real gunfire, Sheriff Fred Phillips said.
A bullet struck Murr on the top of the head and exited at the bottom of his skull, authorities said.
Freeman fled the ceremony but was arrested near his home, authorities said. He was released on $7,500 bail.

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Stray bullet strikes, kills Phoenix girl.

Oct. 15, 2004 12:00 AM

The story began: A bullet fell from the sky Monday night and killed a "sweet and bright and very decent young lady" who had just stepped into the back yard of her central Phoenix home.
Shannon Smith, 14, was talking on a phone with a friend when she was struck in the head and killed by what police say was a stray bullet from an unknown source.
When & Where
Smith's father found her just before 11 p.m. on June 14, 1999, in the back yard of their home near Central Avenue and Camelback Road.
Summary
Shannon Smith, who would have entered Xavier College Preparatory in the fall, spent June 14, 1999, at home. From noon to 9 p.m., Shannon talked off and on with her best friend, both on the phone and online. Between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m., Shannon was on the phone with another friend when she said she heard what sounded like a "car accident or something" out on Camelback Road. Shannon told her friend she was going to go out into her back yard to see if she could see anything. She put her friend on hold and never came back. The friend finally hung up around 10 p.m.
Shannon's father, Otis, had been watching television when he noticed the red light flashing on the family room phone around 10:35 p.m. He went to her room to tell her to hang up. He looked for Shannon inside the home before finding her outside, laying face up in the grass, with a portable phone about three feet from her body.
Otis tried to revive his daughter with CPR until firefighters arrived. Shannon's mother, Lory, rode in the ambulance with her to a nearby hospital.
The teen was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
"Oh my god, I can't believe she's dead," a distraught Lory Smith told Otis when he arrived at the hospital.
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.
A year after Shannon's death, in July 2000, the Legislature enacted Shannon's Law, a measure that makes firing a gun into the air a felony.
Investigator
Phoenix police Detective A.R. Scott.
New technology's role in this case
Police have the bullet that was removed from Shannon's brain during an autopsy. The markings on the bullet would be unique to the gun it was fired from, believed to be one of four models of 9mm semiautomatic handguns. Over the years, police have tested numerous guns that have come into their property room. But none has been linked to the bullet.
How you can help
Call the Phoenix Police Department's General Investigations Bureau at (602) 262-6141 and ask for Detective Scott, or call Silent Witness at 1-800-343-TIPS.
- Judi Villa

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Bullet Falls From Sky Into Woman's Face.

UPDATED: 6:41 am EST January 3, 2006
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A 26-year-old woman watching New Year's Eve fireworks in Orlando was seriously injured when she was struck in the face by a stray bullet fired into the air during the celebration, according to a Local 6 News report.
Investigators said Ruby Cintron was standing on the north shoreline of Crooked Lake in the Highlands Lake subdivision off Hiawassee Road after midnight Sunday when she was hit near the eye by the .45-caliber bullet.
Cintron was holding her 7-month-old baby when she was hit, her husband, Domingo said.
"She put the baby down and my brother and I took her to the house," Cintron said. "She was saying the whole time, "Take care of the kids.'"
Detectives said the bullet came from someone who fired into the sky to ring in the New Year from a nearby location.
Cintron was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center but doctors were unable to remove the bullet from her head, Local 6 News learned.
Cintron will need an artificial eye because of the damage caused by the bullet, according to the report.
"She does not know what is ahead of her right now," Cintron said.
Neighbors heard several gun shots fired in the area after midnight.
"A lot of loudness and a lot of shooting, repeatedly, like semi automatics," neighbor Ray Beecham said.
Last New Year's Eve, a stray bullet fired more than 2,200 yards away struck and killed a 75-year-old man.
Police hope the person who fired the shot will turn themselves into authorities.

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Bullet falls from sky, strikes baby in head.

Source: KRQE News 13 7/5/2005
ALBUQUERQUE -- Doctors are trying to save the life of an Albuquerque baby shot in the head by a bullet that fell from the sky Monday night. The bullet was likely fired into the air during a July 4th celebration.
The 11-month-old, named Alyssa, is being treated at UNM hospital and is in critical condition.
While she is fighting to stay alive, police are trying to find out who put her there.
One Monday night Alyssa’s family was wrapping up their 4th of July party at their grandmother’s house in southwest Albuquerque.
Alyssa's grandmother was just holding the baby in her driveway on Sunbow Court when the baby suddenly cried out and blood began to drip from her head.
“(The Bullet) entered in rear quadrant (of the baby’s head) and exited out and embedded into shoulder,” says John Walsh of the Albuquerque Police Department.
Police have recovered the bullet and have determined it came from a high caliber gun. Forensics tests will help determine more.
Police say finding the person who fired the gun could be tough. Depending on the caliber or gunpowder, the bullet could have traveled anywhere between a few hundred yards up to a mile.
That's why police are asking for help identifying anyone who was firing a high caliber gun in southwest Albuquerque on Monday night.
Alyssa did undergo surgery to help repair the gunshot wound in her head and shoulder. She remains in pediatric intensive care.

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Celebratory bullets fired by Iraqis
into sky coming down on U.S. troops.


By Scott Schonauer, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Sunday, August 17, 2003
Scott Schonauer / S&S
Spec. Christensen Cory, 23, a soldier with the 82nd Airborne Division, holds a bullet that hit him in the forearm. The bullet was likely fired by an Iraqi in celebration left only a welt that disappared in a few days.
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Army Spc. Christiansen Cory was talking with another soldier when he felt something smack his forearm.
“We were standing around and heard a pssssst,” he said. “It felt just like a big rock had been thrown at me.”
But when Cory looked down, he discovered it wasn’t a rock that hit him. At his feet was a bullet from a Kalashnikov rifle. It was still warm.
The round likely came from an Iraqi who fired it into the air in celebration of a wedding, the birth of a child, or, for nothing in particular.
Every day, sometimes several times an hour, an Iraqi somewhere in the capital is shooting his rifle into the sky because he is happy about something. It is Iraqis’ version of a party noisemaker.
The only problem is, what goes up must come down. And sometimes the bullets they fire into the air fall and hit people.
Cory, a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, was lucky. The bullet left only a welt that disappeared in a few days.
But for another soldier, a similar incident proved deadly.

Spc. James I. Lambert III, 22, of Raleigh, N.C. — assigned to the 1st Armored Division — was killed on July 31 in Baghdad when a stray bullet fired by a celebrating Iraqi struck him.
Lambert was standing outside around 7:30 p.m. when fate and the bullet suddenly hit him square in the head. He was evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital where he later died of the wound, the Army reported.
While the odds of getting hit by a bullet fired straight into the air seem extraordinarily remote, Iraqis have been killed by celebratory fire in the past. It was such a problem when Saddam Hussein was in power that he banned it and threatened to have the police arrest anyone caught doing it.
With Saddam now on the run, seemingly any family with a gun has brought back the trend. Squeezing a few rounds over the rooftops is now vogue again in Baghdad and elsewhere in the country.
When the news came out last month that U.S. forces killed Saddam’s sons Udai and Qusai, the skies crackled with celebratory gunfire and lit up with tracer rounds from elated Iraqis.
The popping sounds of rifles and pistols throughout the city were so intense that it caught some U.S. soldiers off guard.
“At first, we didn’t know what the hell was going on,” Spc. Gerald Thomson said. “We thought we were about to get overrun. Then, we found out they were just celebrating.”
At some camps, some soldiers said that the bullets rained down onto the rooftops and dinged Humvees. Some soldiers were ordered to stay in buildings or take cover. Troops had to wear their Kevlar wherever they went — even on secured camps — until the fireworks display ended and Iraqis had spent their jubilation ammunition.
In the confusion, some soldiers mistakenly shot partying, gun-toting Iraqis. However, some servicemembers said that Iraqis took advantage of the celebratory fire and ensuing chaos to take potshots at troops.
“It was pretty nuts,” Spec. Matt Gonzales said. “We saw tracer going everywhere.”
The question many soldiers are asking is, what will the celebratory gunfire be like when, and if, coalition forces capture or kill Saddam? Some are bracing for a torrent of happy gunfire.
“It’s going to be crazy,” Gonzales said. “It’s going to be haywire.”

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2 injured by falling bullets ~ Callers to 911 report shots fired into air by revelers

By Joe Hughes
STAFF WRITER

January 2, 2006

Falling bullets injured two people and narrowly missed a half-dozen children after New Year's Eve revelers fired guns into the air across San Diego County.

The most serious injury involved a 27-year-old woman whose shoulder was pierced by a stray bullet as she stood on her apartment balcony on Felicita Avenue in Escondido.



Thirty miles away, a man was hit on a hand by a bullet that had passed through a wall of his Chamoune Avenue house in the Swan Canyon neighborhood of San Diego.

Additionally, a family in the Chollas View neighborhood of San Diego had a close call when a bullet came through the roof of their house on Lise Avenue, landing in a bedroom where six children slept. The children were not hurt. Two adults also were in the house.

Police say San Diego residents usually don't face the danger of falling bullets, which can be common during New Year's celebrations in other cities and elsewhere in the world.

This year there were fewer calls about gunfire than in the past couple of years, authorities said. However, a review of newspaper articles indicates that yesterday's injuries from falling bullets were the first in five years in San Diego County.

On Jan. 1, 2001, a 35-year-old man was struck on the top of the head by a falling bullet in San Diego's Mountain View community. He wasn't seriously hurt.

Law enforcement agencies across the county reported 911 calls from people concerned about gunfire after midnight. No exact figures were available, but officers estimated they took fewer complaints than last year.

Dispatchers said the cold, damp weather that doused many New Year's Eve parties might have been a factor in the drop in the number of gunfire calls.

"From time to time, we get these incidents," San Diego police Sgt. Joe Molinoski said. "It usually is rare here, and we often hear about it happening elsewhere, such as in Los Angeles."
 

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Many moons ago, a buddy of mine in Puerto Rica caught "una bala perdida" (literally "a lost bullet") during a New Year's outdoor celebration....hit him in the shoulder. He was lucky given that round landing a few inches over towards his centerline might have hit him in the head.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks srfl !!!

Another True Falling Bullet Account.
One that probably never made the news.
Thanks for the addition. :yup:
 

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While the odds of getting hit by a bullet fired straight into the air seem extraordinarily remote, Iraqis have been killed by celebratory fire in the past. It was such a problem when Saddam Hussein was in power that he banned it and threatened to have the police arrest anyone caught doing it.
But of course he never had himself arrested, did he? How many times have we seen video clips of ol' Saddam himself firing a rifle and pistol into the air at rallies?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.......
 

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QKShooter said:
Can a bullet fired into the air kill someone when it comes down?

Click Here To Visit Cecil

Cecil is very funny:

So, Middle Eastern men, gang bangers, etc., listen up! It has been scientifically shown that firing guns into the air for entertainment is not a good idea. Please stop right away. Also knock off with the holy wars and random violence. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing QKS!
 

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Good stuff. I would venture that most of us on this board are not that stupid to shoot in the air.
 

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Sage advice QK - tho hopefully we are all here safe and savvy enough to not engage in the supposed ''fun'' activity.

I do fire off rounds on New Years and sometimes Independence Day - it's quite common round here - however, my rounds if live ammo get shot into the corn field out back such that they bury in the dirt - no richochets even.

Other option is .308 blanks - I have plenty - plus another option is 12G with birdshot - that at least has short range and minimal danger falling.

Just random up in the air tho - it's actually a rule #2 infringement when given full consideration.
 

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Didn't really think that many here would be the celebratory bullets up in the air sort.

Something to think about though for our new member/shooters...not knowing exactly where a bullet would come down & what possible damage could be done to another human being that is totally innocent.
 

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Good points -- and new shooters should keep in mind how incredibly far a bullet can travel if the gun is held at an upward angle. Years ago on a big ranch, some of the guys were shooting 30-30s at a rock out in a field, probably 1/4 mile away (we had thousands of acres out there with nothing on it). Dust came up in big enough clouds that we could see it. It took a whole lot of elevation, but the bullets still must have had reasonable velocity even way out there.
 

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Really, though. In case #1, you have to ask: if a Moron is injured, participating in an act of communal stupidity, has an "injury" occurred, or was it a Divine missive? In EMS we not infrequently (informally) listed cause of death as "suicide", for the deaths of the foolish by foolish action/omission of action...........:duh:
 

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I went to school with a guy who some how got a pistol and fired it into the air in a mall parking lot and the round came down and killed a little girl. Yep, shooting into the air is bad.:yup:
 

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Rob72 said:
Really, though. In case #1, you have to ask: if a Moron is injured, participating in an act of communal stupidity, has an "injury" occurred, or was it a Divine missive? In EMS we not infrequently (informally) listed cause of death as "suicide", for the deaths of the foolish by foolish action/omission of action...........:duh:


I agree, makes one wonder does it not?

Remember the line from Forrest Gump-"Stupid is as stupid does.":twak:
 

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No reason to shoot up into the air.
frankmako
 

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Here's an interesting article on it done by the gang on Mythbusters. Apparently, it's possible for a falling bullet to be lethal, but rare for them to actually hit someone. I recall watching bullets land around me when I was in Korea. Apparently, a local was firing an AK-47 onto the base hoping to hit something. Well, something became me but I barely noticed it until they hit the metal toolbox on my truck. Maybe velocity and trajectory have alot to do with it.

http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2006/04/episode_50_bullets_fired_up_vo.html
 

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Age Ranger,
I saw the episode on mythbusters about a shot straight up. Pretty interesting.
Even if a bullet goes straight up and isnt likely to kill, who shoots straight up anyways?
Bad idea in anycase to just shoot into the air.
Buy some firecrackers if you want a loud bang and then one will not really endanger others.
 

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I have a friend who is an engineer for Disney. After every holiday (New Years, July 4, etc.) crews go through the entire park to find bullet holes in the ceilings of the attractions that might destroy or damage the machinery. Those bullets are probably not fired straight up, so you would get penetration.
 
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