NewsPinellas County


2-month-old baby grazed by Fourth of July celebratory gunfire bullet, police say

Posted at 1:35 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 18:14:29-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg Police say a bullet shot into the air on July 4 came down and struck a baby.

According to police, a two-month-old baby was laying in his mother's arms under a gazebo outside a home in the 300 block of Kingfish Dr. SE when he was grazed by a bullet. The bullet hit his arm but officers say he wasn't badly injured.

The incident happened around 9:45 p.m.

Police are blaming celebratory gunfire.

Police say just 45 minutes later and less than 5 miles away, a second bullet hit another home around 10:30 p.m. in the 3800 block of Queensboro Ave. in St. Petersburg.

A bullet went through the roof and ceiling of a home landing in the family's living room. At least one person was inside at the time of the incident, but they were not injured.

Both cases remain under investigation. Investigators say they collected both bullets and are analyzing them in a lab. However, officers say arrests for celebratory gunfire are rare because it is often difficult for investigators to determine where the gun was fired, how long the bullet traveled and who was behind the trigger. “Even worse, most of the victims have no idea it’s coming when it hits,” Yolanda Fernandez, St. Petersburg Police Department's spokesperson explained.

Fernandez says the two innocent families were lucky and she hopes it sends a stern message about the dangers of celebratory gunfire.

“You can’t fire your gun in the air and expect the bullet not to land somewhere," she explained. “I think it’s a lesson for everybody to believe us when we say those bullets can come down and hurt someone.”