ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Police are investigating several different cases where two young girls and even a police cruiser were struck by bullets from celebratory gunfire while ringing in the New Year.
In St. Petersburg, a 17-year-old girl was hit by a bullet while outside at a house party on 11th Ave. S. and 32nd St. The victim told police she was watching fireworks from the backyard when she felt something hit her leg and saw she was bleeding. She was identified as Amber Bartles.
She was transported to the hospital, treated and released.
"It just hurts right now like really bad," said Bartles.
"We hear a loud bang and look over at her holding her leg and she yells something hit me something hit me I'm bleeding," said her boyfriend David Garrett.
Police said an officer's cruiser was also struck in the police department's parking lot. Police say the officer discovered the bullet damage to his front windshield when he reported for duty. No one was in the cruiser at the time it was struck.
Police in Orlando are also investigating an incident where a nine-year-old girl was struck by a bullet in the arm while leaving church just after midnight. She was treated for a non-life threatening wound, but police said there was "voluminous amounts of gunfire at the New Year."
So far there are no suspects, but St. Petersburg police did arrest five people overnight for using their weapons for celebratory gunfire, though they have not connected them to any of the incidents.
Several guns were confiscated including a rifle, a handgun, and an AK 47 style weapon. Police said one of the weapons was stolen.