NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A woman was hit by a stray bullet while walking her dogs, and police have been searching for the shooter.
Maria Melchor brought her entire family to the dog park in Centennial Park Sunday, and she said everything was going great until Maria heard gunshots in the distance.
“I told my husband I said, did you hear that shots and then she said no that is not a shots,” said Melchor.
“With her husband's reassurance, she went ahead and sat down on a bench, but that's when she felt something hit her hand.
“A few seconds [later] I feel my hand, like somebody hit me, like oh, this lady hit me with the ball, but then when I look at it was not a ball it was a bullet,” said Melchor.
It was a stray bullet that police think came from the rail road tracks south of the park.
“That's the thing, it came this way, it could've easily gone the other way and struck a car,” said Captain Chris Taylor.
Captain Chris Taylor said stray bullets are not unusual they can land anywhere any time, dog parks are no exception. However, this was the first time it had ever happened at Centennial Park, and given how busy it was Sunday afternoon, police said they were fortunate no one else was seriously hurt.
“Children have been struck, animals have been struck,” said Captain Taylor. “She's fortunate that it was on her hand, if you can call it fortunate, and not her face.”
Maria considered herself lucky. She only had a few stitches that would eventually heal. Doctors were able to remove the bullet that was lodged in her hand, and with a good prognosis ahead, they were even able to joke about it.
“Doctors said ‘do you want to make a necklace with the bullet’ and I said no,” said Melchor. All jokes aside, she said she didn’t want to go back to the dog park anytime soon.