10-year-old speaks after being hit by falling bullet in New Orleans East

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Fabian Rivera, 10, pointed at his bullet-wounded cheek while wearing his hospital wristband — a reminder of where he was when the clock struck Midnight 2022.Rivera, who lives on Edgelake Court in New Orleans East, was rushed to the hospital after a bullet fell from the sky and hit him while riding on his backyard swing. It was just after 10 p.m., and the sound of nearby fireworks clouded the boom of gunfire. “We thought it was a firework until we saw the shot,” his cousin Diana Lopez told WDSU Saturday. “We got scared and called the police.”NOPD investigators suspect whoever fired the gun into the air did so to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Police note that while celebratory gunfire remains frequent on holidays, it is illegal.”You have to be careful not to shoot the weapons up,” Rivera said. “The could fall down, and that thing could kill someone.””I felt so bad that they would shoot, because it almost took his life,” said Lopez, pointing at her cousin. “It can happen to other people, and people can die from it.”Rivera isn’t the only New Orleans child shot lately. Police say a one-year-old was shot Saturday near Decatur and Spain streets. And last Sunday night in Algiers, nine-year-old Dillan Burton died after being shot while in the back seat of her mother’s car.NOPD: Two other gun-related incidents Friday into SaturdayRivera’s investigation was one of three New Year’s Eve incidents involving guns, the NOPD said.Around 10 p.m. Friday, as officers were investigating an unrelated traffic stop, they reportedly heard shots near the 7800 block of Coronet Court. There, they said three people were found shooting guns, including a rifle. Police said the person with the rifle pointed it at them before running off. Officers chased them, catching a 17-year-old who was booked in the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center for three counts of aggravated assault upon a police officer and one count each of illegal use of weapons, possession of a firearm by a juvenile and flight from an officer. Police are still looking for the other two suspects.Officers also reported around 12:30 a.m., an officer patrolling downtown near Canal and Chartres streets saw a person pull a handgun from his waistband and wave it in the air. The officer approached the person, a 15 year-old boy, and arrested him without further incident. Police said the boy was booked into the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center on charges of a juvenile in possession of a firearm and for illegal carrying of a firearm.Anyone with more information on any of these incidents is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Fabian Rivera, 10, pointed at his bullet-wounded cheek while wearing his hospital wristband — a reminder of where he was when the clock struck Midnight 2022.

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Rivera, who lives on Edgelake Court in New Orleans East, was rushed to the hospital after a bullet fell from the sky and hit him while riding on his backyard swing. It was just after 10 p.m., and the sound of nearby fireworks clouded the boom of gunfire.

“We thought it was a firework until we saw the shot,” his cousin Diana Lopez told WDSU Saturday. “We got scared and called the police.”

NOPD investigators suspect whoever fired the gun into the air did so to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Police note that while celebratory gunfire remains frequent on holidays, it is illegal.

“You have to be careful not to shoot the weapons up,” Rivera said. “The [bullet] could fall down, and that thing could kill someone.”

“I felt so bad that they would shoot, because it almost took his life,” said Lopez, pointing at her cousin. “It can happen to other people, and people can die from it.”

Rivera isn’t the only New Orleans child shot lately. Police say a one-year-old was shot Saturday near Decatur and Spain streets. And last Sunday night in Algiers, nine-year-old Dillan Burton died after being shot while in the back seat of her mother’s car.

NOPD: Two other gun-related incidents Friday into Saturday

Rivera’s investigation was one of three New Year’s Eve incidents involving guns, the NOPD said.

Around 10 p.m. Friday, as officers were investigating an unrelated traffic stop, they reportedly heard shots near the 7800 block of Coronet Court. There, they said three people were found shooting guns, including a rifle. Police said the person with the rifle pointed it at them before running off. Officers chased them, catching a 17-year-old who was booked in the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center for three counts of aggravated assault upon a police officer and one count each of illegal use of weapons, possession of a firearm by a juvenile and flight from an officer. Police are still looking for the other two suspects.

Officers also reported around 12:30 a.m., an officer patrolling downtown near Canal and Chartres streets saw a person pull a handgun from his waistband and wave it in the air. The officer approached the person, a 15 year-old boy, and arrested him without further incident. Police said the boy was booked into the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center on charges of a juvenile in possession of a firearm and for illegal carrying of a firearm.

Anyone with more information on any of these incidents is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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