Child Struck By Falling Bullet on New Year's Day

Gun violence is a harsh and unpredictable reality for many people in the United States, with ignorance being just as big a factor in causing injury as ill intent.

ABC7 cover the story of 10-year-old Nia Alejandro of Long Beach who, during New Year's Day festivities around midnight, was struck by a bullet falling out of the sky.

According to her mother, Fatima Alejandro, the two had been celebrating the new year outside when Nia suddenly felt a sharp pain in her arm. Though it at first appeared to be a scratch, the pain refused to subside. The two drove to St. Mary Medical Center for X-rays, at which point they were shocked to learn there was a bullet lodged in her arm.

This was only the beginning of the problem for the family, though, as no doctors would operate to remove the bullet. Despite driving to four different emergency rooms, they were told that there was no one willing to perform the procedure on Nia.

Additionally, the family was told by Nia's school that she would not be allowed to return to class until the bullet was removed, leaving them with few options. After a trip to their primary care physician on the 11th, several calls were made and Nia was finally cleared for surgery at the St. Mary emergency room. The hospital refused to comment on why it took so long for this to happen or why they refused care in the first place.

When interviewed about the ordeal, Nia and her family commented that they often hear gunshots around their home at all times of year. No one has currently been found responsible for the shooting nor is there an investigation.

This story highlights an issue just as relevant as ever regarding unsafe celebration practices. Even more so than fireworks, the act of firing guns into the air is extremely dangerous. As Nia herself said during the interview, it's time for this to stop.