A Texas Lawmaker is struck by a stray bullet, no foul play is suspected.
Texas State Legislator, Armondo “Mondo” Martinez (D-Weslaco) was hit by a stray bullet shortly after midnight at a New Year’s celebration outside his hometown of Weslaco, Texas. The bullet fragment punctured the top of the Legislator’s head.
Martinez had just given his wife a celebratory New Year’s kiss when the stray bullet struck him in what he described as feeling like a sledgehammer hit me over the head”. Martinez was standing outside when the fragment hit and ambulances were fast called to the scene. Martinez was sent to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen Texas where the Neurosurgical Unit scrambled to remove the fragment. The bullet penetrated Martinez’s skull and was lodged on the dura matter, the area located at the top of his brain.
The bullet appeared to be a .223 caliber round.
Martinez spoke to CNN by phone from the hospital where he was recovering, saying:
“Had it gone any further, I don’t think we would be having this conversation, It was a miracle last night. I was given another chance at life and I’m grateful for it,”
Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said Martinez’s life was saved by nothing short of a miracle. Had the bullet gone a centimeter further he would not have survived. Sheriff’s Office spokesman JP Rodriguez said in a statement:
Investigators “have reason to believe that (Martinez) was hit by a stray bullet, There is no evidence to indicate he was targeted,”
Martinez is scheduled to be sworn into his seventh term of office on January 10. Texas has some of the least restrictive firearms laws in the country. Texas residents can purchase a gun without any waiting period and they are free to apply for a license to carry their weapons on their person or in a vehicle without restrictions.