ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A 9-year-old northwest Atlanta boy is shot in the stomach, and police believe he was the victim of celebratory gunfire.
The child was with his family at a home on Griffin Street, shooting off fireworks celebrating the New Year. It was after midnight when they realized 9-year-old Alfonso Vasquez had been hurt.
"It could have hit his heart," Alfonso's mother Santa Nava told FOX 5 through an interpreter. "It was really close to his heart."
Video of the shooting shows the boy celebrating with his family before screaming that he was hurt.
"He was bleeding and we were scared because we didn't know what was going to happen," Alfonso's brother Matthew Vasquez said.
Paramedics rushed him to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston, where doctors determined he'd been shot. Vasquez underwent surgery during the overnight hours.
Investigators talked to a number of people in the area, hoping to identify who pulled may have pulled the trigger. But at least for now, no suspects have been identified.
Before the New Year's Eve celebrations, police around the country Americans not to shoot off guns in the air to celebrate the New Year. Unfortunately, many people did not listen. In Baltimore, a 14-year-old was grazed by a stray bullet during celebratory gunfire. In Oakland, Califonia, a 6-year-old girl was shot in the head celebrating in her backyard, KTVU reported.
As police search for the shooter, Nava says she wishes people firing their weapons in celebration would realize the real danger.
"Stop the shooting. A lot of kids and a lot of people that are innocent are getting shot or killed," she said.