Sheriff’s department investigates stray gunfire incidents

By Erin Sheridan and Gary Long, Staff Writers

The Cameron County Sheriff’s Department reported that a second Brownsville resident was struck by a stray bullet on New Year’s Eve.

Chief Deputy Gus Reyna said that a 22-year-old man was hit on his left toe at exactly 12:00 a.m. on Jan. 1.

The incident took place in the 2400 block of Delia Avenue in Cameron Park.

The man was able to drive himself to Valley Regional Medical Center, where he was then treated and released.

The sheriff’s department is also investigating another case that resulted in a child being taken to a local hospital.

Sheriff Omar Lucio said a stray bullet struck a 3-year-old child sometime after midnight Wednesday at 7313 Villa Pancho in the Southmost area of Brownsville. The parents took the child to a local hospital.

Lucio said once the bullet is removed a tedious investigation would follow to determine where it came from. He repeated the caution that law enforcement issues every year not to discharge firearms to celebrate the New Year or other holidays because what goes up must come down.

A Houston woman was also struck by a stray bullet on New Year’s Eve and died from her injury.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said 61-year-old Philippa Ashford died after being shot at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. The sheriff’s department said it appears she may have been struck by celebratory gunfire from outside her immediate neighborhood, the Associated Press reported.

The woman’s family and their neighbors were discharging fireworks in their cul-de-sac when she called out that she had been shot, according to the department. She was pronounced dead at the scene.