A new study suggests that most people struck by stray bullets were not targeted intentionally.
A research study on stray bullet shootings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows 81 percent of the victims were unaware of the events leading to the gunfire that caused their injuries. Forty-seven percent were at home, and 68 percent were indoors at the time.
For the study, Garen Wintemute, a professor of emergency medicine at University of California at Davis, used Google and Yahoo news archives to track news stories published between March 2008 and February 2009 that contained the phrase "stray bullet."
Typical scenarios included violence, shooting sports, celebratory gunfire and related activities.
Shenice Holmes was a 13-year-old honor student who was killed by a stray bullet at her Northside home in 2006. She was sitting on her bed reading when she was hit. Rivals in the neighborhood fired a shot that entered her room and took her life.
Dick Boger said he recently heard a bullet fly through his kitchen.
"At first, I was shocked and stunned. I didn't know if it had just happened," Boger said. "I didn't know if there was a shooter in the backyard."
Boger said he doesn't plan to move out of his house because of this, but he admits there's very little he can do to prevent something like a stray bullet blasting into his home.
In the New Town neighborhood, three people were killed last week in a quadruple shooting. The only survivor was 16-month-old Marc Smith, who was grazed by a stray bullet. Smith continues to recover after surgery.
Danielle Melton, 19, was also a victim of the shooting, hit by a stray bullet while she was sitting outside of her first-floor apartment. Melton later died at a hospital.