Putnam County man hit by celebratory gunfire at Busch Gardens

Tampa police believe the bullet dropped from sky during Fourth of July

Courtesy WFTS Tampa
Courtesy WFTS Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. – A Putnam County man is recovering from a shoulder wound after he was hit by what police think was celebratory gunfire during Fourth of July celebrations at Busch Gardens.

Tampa police said Scott Deel, 36, was walking through Busch Gardens around 10 p.m. Wednesday when he felt a sudden pain in his shoulder.  His wife then noticed his left shoulder bleeding, and took him to Busch Garden's first aid center for help.

Police determined his injury to be a bullet wound and the bullet likely fell from the sky.

Deel is expected to make a full recovery.

Tampa investigators say there were two more celebratory gunfire incidents in that area on the Fourth.

A 61-year-old woman came home and found a hole in her ceiling and a projectile on her bedroom floor, and a 39-year-old woman who lives less than a mile away from Busch Gardens found a bullet hole in the windshield of her car.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that bullets fired into the air return to the ground at speeds greater that 200 feet per second, with enough force to penetrate the human skull and cause death.