9-year-old boy struck by falling bullet in South LA after person fires gun into air

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Investigators are searching for a gunman who fired a shot into the air during a New Year's Eve fireworks event, striking a 9-year-old boy in South Los Angeles.

Los Angeles police and firefighters responded to a reported shooting in the 8800 block of Baring Cross Avenue just after midnight. Claudia Montoya pointed to her shoulder, showing where a bullet grazed her 9-year-old son Christopher.

She said she heard her son yell to his father that he was hit by a firecracker, but then the child's father found the bullet. Christopher was rushed to the hospital and is expected to be OK, according to Montoya. He was allowed to go back home later Monday and was resting.

One neighbor rushed over after hearing the boy's mother cry out for help when the shooting happened.

"When we rushed over there, I was like, 'Well let me see the wound.' The bullet was out so it was good, so I said OK. We all calmed down and called an ambulance," Andrea Gutierrez said.

Montoya said she thanks God her son will be OK. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Neighbors in the area said it can be dangerous on New Year's Eve.

"You know, people have been doing that for a long time. There was a lot of fireworks, gunshots going on at the same time. A lot of noise, a lot of boom," Renita Bradford said.

For anyone caught firing weapons toward the sky, they face serious charges.

"They're facing at least assault with a deadly weapon charges. Even if the bullet doesn't hit anyone, they're culpable for shooting a firearm in a negligent manner," LAPD Let. Jamie Bennett said.

Montoya said her son should be OK to return to school when classes resume on Jan. 8.
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