Texas lawmaker hospitalized after stray New Year's Eve bullet strikes head

USA TODAY - Police in south Texas were investigating after a stray celebratory New Year's Eve bullet put a state lawmaker in the hospital with a head wound.

Westlaco, Texas, authorities said State Rep. Armando "Mando" Martinez was recovering Sunday after surgeons removed the bullet from his skull.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra told The (McAllen) Monitor that Martinez was in stable condition after surgery to remove a "projectile" fired just after midnight Sunday, as Martinez celebrated with family and friends outside a home north of Weslaco, near Texas' border with Mexico.

"It felt like a sledgehammer hit me over the head," Martinez told KGBT-TV. After a few moments, Martinez said, he and his wife realized he'd been struck by a bullet.

Guerra said Martinez’s wife found a small hole on the top left side of her husband's head.

They rushed him to a local hospital, but doctors there transferred him another hospital about 22 miles east, in Harlingen, Texas, where surgeons removed the bullet. It had punctured his skull, but didn't damage his brain, KGBT reported.

Martinez said he never lost consciousness.


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