A 20-year-old Seminole woman visiting Busch Gardens was struck by a stray bullet fired into the air during New Year's Eve festivities Wednesday night, police said.
Kaitlyn Jacobs was sitting in the Gwazi Pavilion area around 11:50 p.m. when she felt pain in her lower left leg. She was assisted by Busch Gardens Medical Services and transported to St. Joseph's Hospital, according to Tampa police
X-rays showed a bullet lodged in her leg, according to Tampa police. There were no other reports of injuries at the theme park.
Busch Gardens spokesman Travis Clayton said it appears the gunfire came from off the premises.
The incident is yet another reminder of how dangerous firing weapons into the air can be.
Several agencies launched messages this week asking people not to fire off guns as part of their New Year's celebrations.
In 2012, a stray bullet came down and pierced the skull of then 12-year-old Diego Duran as he watched fireworks outside his family's home in Ruskin. The bullet traced diagonally through Duran's brain and left him comatose for days.
The boy, now 15, has recovered after multiple surgeries and his family has made a mission of spreading awareness about the danger of celebratory gunfire through a nonprofit organization called Bullet Free Sky.
Law enforcement agencies were out in force on Bay area roads. They reported about a dozen crashes, including a man on a scooter being killed on Alt. U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor. In Treasure Island, a driver hit a stop sign and then crashed into a yard in the Isle of Palms neighborhood.
Neighbors said they heard a loud boom and expected to see much worse than what they found.
Treasure Island police say the driver passed a sobriety test but was ticketed for the crash.