A Texas lawmaker suffered an apparent accidental gunshot wound to the head during a New Year’s party early Sunday morning during what authorities believe was a round of celebratory gunfire.
State Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez is “in good spirits” and is “very grateful for everything turning out the way it did,” according to Magaly Torres, the district administrator in his Hidalgo County office.
Torres says Martinez believes the shooting was an accident and that the gunfire was in celebration of the new year.
Martinez spoke to CNN over the phone from the hospital later on Sunday, saying, “It felt like a sledgehammer hit me over the head.”
He added, “It was a miracle last night. I was given another chance at life and I’m grateful for it.”
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He said he had just stepped outside of the party when he was struck by the bullet fragment, which became lodged in the top layer of his brain. He told CNN that had the fragment gone any further, it could have killed him.
He was taken to Valley Baptist Medical Center and surgeons removed the bullet fragment, CNN reports.
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He is still in the hospital as of Monday morning, Torres tells PEOPLE.
Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office spokesman J.P. Rodriguez told CNN that Martinez was not “targeted” in the incident.
The office announced it has launched a deadly conduct investigation into the incident, The Monitor reports.
Rodriguez told The Monitor, “We want to remind the public that celebratory gunfire is very dangerous and can cause property damage, and cause serious injury or death.”
Martinez told the paper that stray gunfire was more dangerous than many think because of the area’s recent increase in population.
“Before, the Valley wasn’t as populated as it is now, and growing up you used to hear gunshots many times,” he said. “But you can’t do that now because somebody’s going to end up getting hurt. Unfortunately, last night it was me who got hurt. The fact that my family and friends were there and that they could’ve also gotten hurt pushes me to help put a stop to this. Right now, the important thing is that I’m alive … God blessed me.”