The Miami Herald
January 2, 2002

At least 19 people injured by stray bullets at new year celebrations in Puerto Rico

 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- (AP) -- At least 19 people were wounded by stray bullets during New Year's celebrations in Puerto Rico, police said Wednesday.

 Most of those injured were in stable condition after being treated at hospitals, said police spokesman Jorge Rosario. No one was reported to have life-threatening injuries, he said.

 Some islanders shoot guns into the air on New Year's Eve about midnight to celebrate the new year, although police have warned against the practice. Some bystanders are injured every year in the U.S. Caribbean territory.

 The tally of those wounded this year increased from an initial count of seven. Rosario said the injuries by stray bullets began Monday afternoon and lasted into Tuesday.

 Among those wounded was 2-year-old Genesis Navarro Diaz of the San Juan suburb of Carolina, who was hit by a bullet fragment in her thorax. In the suburb of Trujillo Alto, 7-year-old Sandra Garcia Urbina was shot in the ankle.

 Elsewhere in San Juan, 16-year-old Rosabel Cruz was hit by a bullet in the abdomen early Tuesday as she chatted with friends outside.

                                    © 2001