Posted on

Celebratory gunfire kills woman watching New Year’s fireworks outside, Texas cops say

A woman in Texas is dead after police say she was hit by a stray bullet from celebratory gunfire.

Just after midnight on Wednesday, Philippa Ashford, 61, was standing at the end of a cul-de-sac in Houston watching her friends and family shoot off fireworks to ring in the new year, KHOU reported.

That’s when police say Ashford suddenly collapsed and said “I think I’ve been shot,” KTRK reported.

When police arrived, they found Ashford with a gunshot wound to the neck, KPRC reported. “She was pronounced dead at the scene,” according to KPRC.

Officials say they believe the bullet was from celebratory gunfire.

“At this point from our witnesses and seeing at the scene, we believe this may very well be a case of celebratory gunfire somewhere else in the neighborhood,” Sgt. Ben Beall with Harris County Sheriff’s Office said, according to KTRK. “No indication a family member or anyone else in the cul-de-sac was discharging a firearm.”

Police say they canvassed the neighborhood looking for shell casings but came up empty, KPRC reported.

“I don’t know if you can figure out what the odds are, but you got the family together, they’re out here celebrating the New Year, and basically the matriarch of the family is now deceased,” Beall said, according to KHOU.

Police are still investigating to determine where the bullet came from, but say they’re confident it didn’t come from the family’s neighborhood, KPRC reported.