St. Petersburg, Florida -- Despite pleas in the days leading up to New Year's for people not to fire guns in the air in celebration, two people in Florida were hospitalized after they were hit by falling bullets.
In St. Petersburg, police say 67-year-old Laurie Eileen Eberhardt was sitting on a patio at the St. Pete Yacht Club watching the fireworks when a bullet struck her hand at about 12:08 a.m.
She was taken to Bayfront Medical Center where ER staff removed the bullet, which was lodged in her right wrist, near the base of her pinky. None of Eberhardt's bones were broken, and she has since been released from the hospital.
Investigators say the bullet appears to be a large caliber rifle round. No one at the Yacht Club saw anyone with a gun or heard any gunfire, and it appears the bullet was falling from the sky when it hit Eberhardt. It's possible the shooter fired the gun miles from where the bullet landed.
Over in Jacksonville, an 8-year-old boy was hit in the foot by a falling bullet shortly before midnight, the Florida Times-Union reports.
The boy's father found the bullet in the child's shoe and took him to the hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
See Also: Could "ShotSpotter" help stop celebratory gunfire?
Richard Smeraldo and 13-year-old Diego Duran were leading an awareness campaign in the Bay area called "Bullet Free Sky," encouraging people to put their guns away on New Year's Eve. Both were injured by stray bullets from celebratory gunfire last year.
"What they [victims of celebratory gunfire] have been through is very tragic," Duran said before New Year's. "It's the consequence of a
very irresponsible act that we stand here together to prevent."
In Florida, knowingly firing a gun in a public place is a first
degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine.
St. Petersburg Police say that for them to catch the shooter, they need to hear from anyone who saw anything. If you have any information, call 727-893-7780.
If you have any information about the Jacksonville shooting, you are asked to
contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or via email
You May Also Like...
Faces of Meth: Before and After pictures
Bikini Photos: 2012 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant
Eye on You: Giant eyeball named "Weirdest story of 2012"
Simply Irresistible: Woman fired for being 'irresistible'
Sacrilicious: Jesus spotted on Texas man's tortilla
Pants on the Ground: City drops saggy pants ordinance
Sex Offender Search: Look up Florida Sex Offenders here
Lawsuit: Scientology allegedly covered up woman's death
Lovely Angels: 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show pictures
Yowtch! Teen accidentally shoots off his penis, testicle
Really?!?: Dashcam catches man urinating on patrol car
Cheerleader sex: Former Ben-Gal pleads guilty to sex with teen
Gah: Nose ring found in McDonalds burrito
PHOTOS: George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin crime scene pics
Not just a game? Man murdered for Magic: The Gathering cards
Yearbook mug shot: Teen who posed in racy yearbook photos busted for underage drinking
Bikinis, mud, trucks: The Redneck Yacht Club
Photos: Ex-Charlie Sheen Goddess Bree Olson
Naughty Schoolgirls: Naughty schoolgirl night at Tampa club pictures
Outrageous mug shot galleries...
Strange: Some of the most unusual mug shots we've seen
Notorious Women: Bad girls behind bars
Teachers: Teacher arrest mugshots
Celebrities: The rich and famous have their own booking photos
Jaw droppers: Open mouth mug shots
Laughers: What's so funny mug shots
Prostitutes: Prostitute mug shots
Athletes: Professional athlete mug shots
Porn arrests: Child porn arrest mug shots
Local Mugs: Hillsborough County Mug shots
More unusual mug shots and galleries: 10 News slideshows and galleries