Phoenix toddler struck by random gunfire on New Year’s Eve

PHOENIX (AP) — Random gunfire struck and injured a toddler on New Year’s Eve in a Phoenix backyard, police said Wednesday.

The 3-year-old boy was expected to survive the wound left by a bullet fragment Tuesday night, the Arizona Republic reported.

Police are searching for whoever fired the shots, said Phoenix police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune .

Though it wasn’t immediately clear why the shots were fired, shooting guns into the air to celebrate the New Year and other holidays is a longstanding practice in some places.

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In Arizona, the practice became a felony punishable by up to two years in prison after a stray bullet killed a 14-year-old girl in Phoenix.

The measure stiffening penalties was called “Shannon’s Law” after Shannon Smith, who was killed by a stray bullet in 1999.

Since then, police have knocked on doors to warn people about firing guns on holidays. They can also use a system called ShotSpotter, a system that pinpoints the location where a gun has been fired.

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