A Texas lawmaker says he is “lucky to be alive” and is “doing well” after he was hit in the head by a stray bullet while celebrating the New Year.
Prior to being hit, State Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez heard gunfire going off in the surrounding area, so his family took shelter in their garage.
After believing it was safe to be outside again, Martinez and his wife left the garage to continue celebrating the New Year.
“At the stroke of midnight, my wife comes over and gives me a hug and a kiss, and right after that I felt like a sledgehammer hitting the back of my head,” Martinez told The Monitor.
Martinez was quickly transferred to the neurosurgical unit at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, where surgeons removed the fragment of a .223 caliber round from his head.
Doctors told Martinez the fragment had penetrated his skull and lodged itself into the top layer of his brain.
Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office spokesman JP Rodriguez said the sheriff’s office is currently investigating the shooting and said, “There is no evidence to indicate he was targeted.”
Investigators said they “have reason to believe that (Martinez) was hit by a stray bullet.”
“It was a miracle last night. I was given another chance at life and I’m grateful for it,” Martinez said.
Martinez has served in the Texas House of Representatives since 2005 and was just elected to his seventh term this past November.
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