A woman in Long Beach is lucky to be alive Saturday after a bullet fired into the air from 10 blocks away struck her eyebrow while she was sleeping outside on her patio.
The 49-year-old victim, identified as Mary, awoke at about 2 a.m. Friday to pain in her forehead and blood on her face, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported:
Somehow the bullet, which may have come from a gun fired during a melee outside a downtown night club, entered through her forehead, glanced off her skull and exited through her eyebrow without causing any extensive damage, she said.
"I guess I really am blessed," Mary said Friday afternoon, noting that she attends both a Catholic and a Baptist Church as well as two different bible study groups every week.
"She doesn't seem to have any ill effects," her husband said Friday, noting she was fixing up two apartments that day.
The couple starting sleeping outside about 10 years ago and have a view of the night sky.
"It was funny when the police first arrived, they were like, 'Is there a gun inside the residence?' They were very cautious," Mary told the newspaper. "We told them 'no, there's no guns. We don't know where it came from.'"
"They told me there was a gang fight on Pine (Avenue), a melee, and someone fired two shots into the air,'' Mary told the Press-Telegram.
A suspected shooter, 23-year-old Gilbert Fonoti, was arrested. Police said they also seized the gun believed to have fired the shot. Fonoti was expected to be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
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Fonoti's bail was set at $50,000. If ballistic tests confirm that the bullet that struck Mary was fired from the gun he used, he will face additional charges, Bezart told the newspaper.
Three others were arrested during the police confrontation with Fonoti, the Press-Telegram reported.
Though the couple was able to laugh about Mary's luck, her husband Joe told the Press-Telegram he hoped it might make people think twice.
"I'd like to kill the bastard that shot that gun,'' Joe said. "Maybe this will make some people wake up.''