Hit and nearly killed by celebratory gunfire, Diego Duran reminds us that 'Stray bullets take lives'

RUSKIN, Fla. -

Diego Duran, 14, is still careful about everything he does, and is a lot more cautious in a lot of the activities he takes part in.

"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.

He was hit by a bullet after someone fired a gun in the air in a New Year's Eve celebration 18 months ago.

"I just remember watching fireworks with my family, and then that was it," Duran says.

He went through extensive rehab and surgery.

It easily could have killed him.

Ever since then, he and his mother, Sandy, and family and friends have been spreading the message for people to not practice celebratory gunfire on holidays where it usually happens, like July 4, and New Year's.

The message, 'Stray bullets take lives,' is part of their 'Bullet-Free Sky' campaign.

Sandy says she knows of one man Diego personally touched, someone she says, who admitted to firing his gun in the air to celebrate.

"And we know that we have changed his mind.  He saw his x-rays.  He met him in person.  And he's not going to practice anymore," Sandy says.

The family hosts a fundraiser Wednesday, bringing different groups together to raise money.  They will use auctions, raffles and food sales to raise the money they need to spread the message.

Sandy says this is what's needed to keep going on.

"We hope that we can get the support from our community to keep raising awareness."

It's happening from 3p.m. to 8p.m. at the Ruskin Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 1st Ave NE, Ruskin FL 33570.

Diego Duran's case is still unsolved.

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