Tuscaloosa County woman survives being shot by celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve

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COTTONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE (1/2): Tuscaloosa County resident 59-year-old Helen Snipes says she is lucky to be alive.  

On New Year’s Eve, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies say someone fired gunshots into the air near her house in Cottondale and a bullet struck her on her back.

“You can’t do this around houses, it’s very dangerous and like they say, these bullets when they come down, they come down fast,” Snipes said. “And Had I been leaning back a half-inch I probably wouldn’t be here.”

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy says this incident is the result of celebratory gunfire for the new year. Snipes was not injured seriously but the shooter could face a felony charge for discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling.

“This individual could have been killed and I can’t stress enough that this is not appropriate action,” Sheriff Abernathy said. “Firing a firearm celebrating up in the air is not the correct action to take and won’t be tolerated here and if we can prove it we will arrest you for it.”

Luckily for Snipes, she was only grazed by the bullet but was terrified about the round coming through her roof into her bathroom striking her.

“Yes I am upset about it but I guess whoever did do it and if they know who they are I forgive them anyway,” Snipes said.

So far, whoever is responsible for firing the gunshots into the air has not been caught.

ORIGINAL (1/1): A woman in Tuscaloosa County is recovering after a bullet came through her roof and grazed her, something investigators believe was the result of celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Day.

According to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to a residence on Old Birmingham Highway in Cottondale after midnight Wednesday regarding a shot being fired into a building. Arriving at the scene, they found a 59-year-old woman who said a bullet had entered her home through the roof and grazed her shoulder.

“The shot that entered her residence appears to be a result of celebratory gunfire for New Years,” a message on the TCSO’s Facebook page read Wednesday.

The victim was not seriously injured, but Sheriff Ron Abernathy said that whoever fired the shot could face a felony charge of discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling.

“Bullets shot into the air come down at a velocity that can, as in this case, penetrate a roof and cause injury or death,” Abernathy said in the Facebook message. “Thankfully in this situation, there were only minor injuries. This type of behavior will not be tolerated and, if the investigation reveals who the shooter is, they may face criminal charges.”


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