Teen injured from celebratory gunfire on 4th of July

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A 15-year-old boy learned firsthand that a bullet fired into the air is going to come down somewhere. Every year it seems there are more reports of injuries, or even deaths, resulting from celebratory gunfire.

This 4th of July, one metro teen is recovering when a bullet came down and hit him in the shoulder.

Several families were gathered at the home at 21st Street and Benton Boulevard celebrating the 4th of July. A group of teens were setting off fireworks in the driveway, when one of them said he felt something hit him in the shoulder that felt like a baseball hurled by a major leaguer.

"I freaked out a little. I started screaming, 'I got shot! I got shot!'" said 15-year-old Saul Bermudez. He said it actually took him a while to realize he'd been shot.

"My friend was getting in trouble because they thought he had shot me with a Roman Candle," Bermudez recalled. "Then his sister touched my back and she said that there was blood on her hand.

That bullet he said went 2 inches into his body, narrowly missing his head.

"Actually, that's what I thought about when they popped the bullet out. I thought about how close it was to my head and I got scared," Saul said.

His mother thanked God her son was so lucky.

"I am happy for God, because you know this is another chance He's given to him," his mother said. She said since her son was shot, she's been thinking of another mother, whose daughter Blair Shanahan Lane was killed by celebratory gunfire five years ago.

Michelle Michele Shanahan-DeMoss went door-to-door through this neighborhood with KCPD officers on Thursday to warn people of the dangers of firing guns into the air.

"I just wish that people would hear her cry, not knowing based on our conversation that it would be a few doors down from us that another mother's cry is out there" said resident Jeanette Wood.

Bermudez said he does not know why his life was spared.

"One of the nurses said that someone upstairs was watching over you," he said. "I think that whatever happens is meant to be, and I guess it wasn't meant to be."

Police obtained the bullet that was pulled from the teen's shoulder. They said they may have a difficult time tracking down where it came from, as bullets can travel over a mile and a half.