Pharr man the latest victim in series of celebratory gunfire incidents across the Valley
Three separate law enforcement agencies across the Rio Grande Valley are investigating after several individuals were hit by celebratory gunfire during the New Year’s holiday.
A woman in Edinburg was struck by a stray bullet on her knee, and a man in Mission was shot in the chest in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Jose Adan Gallinar of Pharr said he was also hospitalized due to celebratory gunfire.
Gallinar said he and his family were celebrating the holiday at the Primera Iglesia Bautista in Las Milpas. As the family were hitting a piñata, he said he felt the bullet hit his head.
“I got hit, it felt like by a hammer,” Gallinar recalled. “I thought they hit me with the stick… I touched my head and there was blood."
Gallinar’s injuries echo what happened to one Weslaco resident.
State Representative Armando Martinez was hit by a rifle round on New Year's 2017. After the injury, he sponsored a bill that would make it a crime across all Texas cities and counties to shoot into the air.
RELATED STORY: Man shot in chest from celebratory gunfire in Mission
“It definitely needs to change, it's very sad to see that there are so many issues that continue to arise every holiday,” Martinez said. “We have attempted to pass legislation year after year. Ultimately, it fails because a Republican-led legislature may not find it appealing."
Martinez says he has received support for the bill from some Republican colleagues and police organizations.
The Pharr Police Department said they’re investigating what happened to Gallinar.
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