An Austin woman is speaking to FOX 7 after being hit by a stray bullet just after midnight, New Year's Day. She reached out FOX 7 in tears, hoping her story can stop something like this from happening again.
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"I hope that they find out who that gun belongs to or some justice be done. It's not fair. I was just there to have fun," says Victoria Rocha, gunshot victim.
In tears, Victoria Rocha opens up about her near-death experience. She never imagined the start of the new year would turn out like this.
"I never thought I would walk around and say I got shot," says Rocha.
Rocha and her fiance had just parked downtown. They were walking near 6th and Brazos when they decided to sit down on a bench. At the strike of midnight, Rocha called her son to wish him a Happy New Year. When she hung up, they heard a loud noise.
"I didn't realize that I was hit. I didn't feel it, it didn't burn, nothing. None of that until I got up. When I got up, and stood up on my two feet, is when I realized something was wrong," says Rocha.
By 12:20 A.M. Rocha says she was already at the hospital. Luckily, she did not need surgery. The bullet went through one side of her thigh and was close to exiting the other side. Medics cut a piece of her skin to get it out. Rocha was told the bullet was from a 45-mm gun.
"People don't understand that, they're to protect and not to play around with. 'Oh hey, it's New Year's, let's shoot it.' It happens all the time, it happens all the time. You can't just walk around shooting your gun and think it's okay," says Rocha.
Police believe someone fired a gun in the air and the bullet came down, striking her. At this point, they don't have a suspect. Rocha hopes her story will bring awareness to a senseless act that could have turned deadly.
"The bullets that go up, they have to come down. Whether they come down fast or hard, soft and slow, it still has to come down and somebody will get hurt. Just being able to talk about it, and being alive, really is the main thing," says Rocha.
A Texas lawmaker who was also struck by a stray bullet minutes into New Year's Day, is planning to file legislation aimed at reducing or preventing celebratory gun firings.