Despite awareness campaigns aimed at preventing people from firing guns into the air to ring in the new year, at least one person was killed and 19 were wounded by stray bullets during this year’s celebrations.
Gabriela Zavaleta Fermín, 30, died in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, when a stray bullet struck her in the head at 12:13am on January 1.
Also in Oaxaca, at least two people were reported wounded by stray bullets in Pinotepa Nacional.
A man from Irapuato, Guanajuato, posted on Facebook that his family’s New Year’s festivities were ruined when a stray bullet struck his wife in the hand.
“Your bullet didn’t go to the stars, your bullet fell on my wife’s finger, you ruined our New Year, while you continue to have fun and feel like hotshot and a thug for firing bullets into the air. May God forgive you,” he said.
“Help me share this so that the idiot can see where his bullet fell,” he added.
A teenage girl in Allende, Nuevo León, was injured while lying in bed when a stray bullet pierced her home’s sheetmetal roofing and struck her in the right shoulder. Since the bullet lost velocity when it hit the roof her injury was not severe and she did not require hospitalization, but received medical attention at a municipal clinic.
Six people were hit by falling bullets in Sinaloa where authorities said it was the worst year for such incidents. Last year there were three such injuries in the state.
A woman and seven men were injured in Tijuana just after midnight, and in Acapulco, a minor was struck by a stray bullet near the Plaza Marbella beach during the city’s fireworks show.
Each year authorities ask the public to refrain from celebrating the start of a new year by firing their weapons but the warnings goe unheeded by some.
Depending on the caliber of the gun and angle at which it is fired, a bullet shot into the air can reach an altitude of up to 1.6 kilometers, a height from which it can gather enough velocity to pierce a human skull by the time it returns to the ground.