Woman hit by celebratory gunfire in downtown Raleigh, police say

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A woman was injured during Raleigh’s New Year’s Eve celebration downtown after she was hit by celebratory gunfire at midnight, police said.

A gun was fired into the air during the midnight fireworks and the bullet came down and hit 22-year-old Kaitlyn Kong at the intersection of Fayetteville and Davie streets, according to police. The incident occurred around 12:05 a.m., according to officials.

Kong was transported to WakeMed with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.

“She’s stable. She had four or five hours of surgery last night,” said her father, Jeffrey Kong. “They had to cut her open because it went in and punctured the corner of her lung. It went in the bottom of her chest, in her abdomen, through her stomach and it bounced around inside. So they cut a 6-inch, she’s never been cut before. She’s got a big scar right in the middle of her abdomen. It’s awful.”

Kong said it was his daughter’s first time at the annual acorn drop. He said she felt a pain in her gut, and collapsed. The UNC student’s roommate helped her out of the crowd.

“It’s just stupidity. Guns are not designed for (that). Those are lethal weapons. It could have went to somebody’s eye, ear, somebody’s heart,” Kong said. “Someone is going to get killed someday. I mean she’s lucky, I guess.”

Kong said his daughter is expected to be in the hospital for several days.

Police did not say if they have any suspect information.

Anyone with information that might assist the investigation of this incident is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at (919)-834-HELP or visit their website for text and email reporting options. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve cases.

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