|Diego Duran, age 12|
His parents did not realize Diego had been shot when they rushed him to the local hospital. There the doctors discovered not only that Diego had been shot, but that the bullet remained lodged in his head. The bullet went into the top of Diego's head and embedded itself in his cheek.
Video of father describing the situation: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8397927/boy-shot-in-head-by-celebratory-gunfire
Diego is in a coma and is listed in critical condition. Police are trying to determine where the bullet came from but say it could have traveled miles.
Just last week, officials in Miami launched a media campaign, One Bullet Kills the Party, to implore the public to abandon the tradition of firing bullets into the air to celebrate New Year's Eve. "They can fall on people, they can fall on children," said Miami-Dade commissioner.
Hillsborough County's sheriff also commented on the dangers of celebration gunfire when talking to reporters about Diego. "Nationally it's a huge issue," he said. "What somebody thinks is a cheap form of gun and entertainment, it has potentially catastrophic consequences."
Arizonans for Gun Safety also has a campaign against celebration gunfire, "Celebration Gunfire Kills."
Bullets don't know when to stop.
This was also posted at "Ohh Shoot": http://ohhshoot.blogspot.com/2012/01/12-year-old-boy-in-coma-after-being.html
UPDATE (1/3/12): The boys condition is improving: http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/03/us/florida-celebratory-gunfire/index.html?hpt=hp_t3
UPDATE (2/9/12): Diego is still recovering. The bullet that struck him was from a .45-caliber full metal jacket round.
UPDATE (2/12/12): The victim and his mother call for stricter regulation of guns.
The mother of a child shot by New Year's celebratory gunfire says it is time to end the casual use of firearms.
Sandra Duran, whose 12-year-old son, Diego, has undergone two brain surgeries since the incident, held a news conference Friday to update supporters on her son's condition. She asked the community to join her efforts to create greater awareness on how easy it is to get a firearm and use it irresponsibly.
Diego is participating in that effort. Until now, the family has carefully guarded the photos posted on Friends of Diego Duran, a Facebook page that continually updates visitors on his progress. But after the child returned home last week, he chose more graphic pictures to show the extent of his injuries.
"He wants people to know how dangerous it is to fire a gun into the air," Duran said. "He's been so cool. In all truthfulness, he hasn't shed a tear through the whole process."
On Wednesday, doctors removed 58 staples, which ran ear to ear, from Diego's head. His memory and cognitive functions are good, and he is working at a local library for 90 minutes twice a week with a teacher supplied by the school district. Duran said that he may be able to return to school in a couple of weeks..