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7-year-old struck by stray bullet while swimming in backyard pool

NORTH FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A 7-year-old boy, swimming in his grandmother's pool on the Fourth of July, was struck by a stray bullet.

Jason Puentes was celebrating the holiday with his grandmother Balbina Ivarra and other family members with a backyard barbecue at her North Fort Lauderdale home.

The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. in the 6400 block of NW 31st Way.

Ivarra said her only grandson was in the pool and came out of the pool because his left arm was bleeding. “We didn’t even know what it was. We was thinking something bit him,” Ivarra said.

The family frantically called for help as they could see the bullet lodged in the 7 year old’s arm. Paramedics rushed him to Broward Health Medical Center for treatment, where he remained Sunday.

“Thanks, Lord, he didn’t get hit in his head, his heart . . . it was in the arm. . . the doctors can take it out and he’s fine. Thanks, my Lord,” Ivarra said.

The only sounds the family said they heard were fireworks going off in the neighborhood.

Fort Lauderdale Police said it will be difficult to track down the shooter because they never received any calls of shots fired in the area around the time the boy was struck.

Ivarra is relieved her grandson is going to make a full recovery, but she has a message for the person or people responsible.

“I want people be mindful about what they are doing. I don’t think they would like it if one of his family or his kids got hurt from a bullet from the air.”

Puentes is expected to be released from the hospital Monday. Police tell Local 10 they are continuing to investigate the case.


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