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Highland Park Man Struck by Celebratory Gunfire on New Year’s Eve

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A Highland Park man was struck by a bullet that was apparently fired into the air early Wednesday during New Year’s Eve celebrations, police said.

“He was in his front yard, just enjoying the New Year’s and so forth,” said Alicia Garcia, a friend of the victim, whose name was not released by authorities. “The bullet went up, came back down and skimmed his head,” she said.

News video showed the man, his head wrapped in a bandage, lying in a Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance at the scene. He was transported to a hospital and was expected to recover.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, police said.

“As long as I’ve been on the job, it’s always been a concern and it’s always been illegal,” said Sgt. John Gutierrez of the Los Angeles Police Department, referring to celebratory gunfire. “We do treat these very seriously.”

Reckless discharge of a firearm is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison, officials said.