AUSTIN (KXAN) — A woman said a bullet came down through the roof of her east Austin home and nearly hit her in the head just after midnight New Year’s Day.
Megan Torres joined Officer Bino Cadenas with the Austin Police Department Thursday afternoon to talk about the scary close call. She had a warning for whoever would think about shooting celebratory gunfire.
“I really want people to know that, when they do that, when they fire these guns into the air, they are putting people’s lives at risk,” Torres said. “How would you feel? How would you sleep at night knowing that you might have killed someone even, not only injured?”
Officer Cadenas shared two photos from Torres: one of a hole in her ceiling and the other of the bullet sitting on her counter. He said she had been sitting on her couch at the time, and he urged people, “Please, please.. don’t shoot up in the air! It’s irresponsible, illegal, and dangerous.”
The incident happened on China Rose Drive near Decker Lake Road. Cadenas said Torres chose to stay home and be safe with her child and never expected the danger to come to them.
“Luckily my 10 month old baby was not in the room, luckily my husband was standing a few feet away, luckily our dogs were not hit,” Megan posted in a neighborhood forum. “I can’t even begin to express how irresponsible it is to shoot a gun into a residential neighborhood.”
She said they are repairing the roof Wednesday.
“I’m not angry actually about the damage, to tell you the truth,” Torres said Thursday. “I’m angry that someone put our lives at jeopardy.”
This comes the same day a Houston woman died as a result of celebratory gunfire after midnight. Multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the state warned people not to shoot their guns in the air at the stroke of midnight because it can be very dangerous.
According to KXAN’s partner Border Report, gun experts estimate small-caliber ammunition can fall at a rate of 300 feet per second, while larger-caliber ammunition can fall at 500 feet per second. At 200 feet per second, a bullet can penetrate a human skull.
In 2019, state Rep. Armando Martinez filed a bill to make reckless discharge of a firearm a felony if someone is hurt or killed. The bill did not move forward in the legislature, but Martinez plans to file it again next session.
The legislation is personal for Martinez, who was hit in the head by a bullet on Jan. 1, 2017, and told Border Report earlier this week he was “22 millimeters away from death.”