An 8-year-old boy and his family say they have a lot to be thankful for this New Year after he was hit in the foot with a stray bullet.
Channel 4 spoke exclusively to the family who didn't want to show their faces. What they wanted everyone to see is the bandage around their 8-year-old son's foot. The bandage is there because the boy was struck by a bullet on New Year's Eve.
"I'm just kinda getting better everyday," said the 8-year-old.
The family said the incident didn't happen outside their rural Northside home. Instead, the boy was struck in the middle of downtown Jacksonville alongside thousands of New Years Eve revelers.
"We were getting ready to watch the fireworks, then something came down and hit my foot real hard and it went numb," said the boy. "It still hurts when I put pressure on it."
The boy has been hopping around on one foot since getting out of the hospital. His father said he had no idea what happened until he took his son's shoe off along the downtown Riverwalk.
"We were just watching the fireworks and the next think you know, a bullet came through his foot," said the boy's father. "He's held up pretty good. It's hard for him to understand how a bullet came out of the sky and whacked him in the foot."
The boy's father is a gun owner and said he has been teaching his son how to shoot a gun. This experience, he said, just enforces a lesson of how dangerous firearms can be if they're used without care.
"He's standing fine, he actually uses a firearm. He knows what it does, understands it," said the boy's father. "Just someone irresponsibly shooting up in the air, hit his foot. Not toys, not something to play with."