State Rep. Mando Martinez hit by stray bullet on New Year’s Eve, expected to recover

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State Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez, D-Weslaco

A stray bullet struck state Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez, D-Weslaco, in the head during a New Year’s Eve celebration Sunday morning.

While the Martinez family celebrated New Year’s Eve, a stray bullet — apparently fired by a reveler welcoming 2017 — struck the state representative.

“It felt like a sledgehammer hit me over the head,” said Martinez, who called CBS 4 News from the hospital.

After a few moments, Martinez and his wife realized he’d been hit by a stray bullet.

They rushed to Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco. Doctors later transferred him to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, where surgeons removed the bullet.

“I’m really thankful for all of their efforts,” Martinez said.

Surgeons removed the bullet, which punctured his skull but didn’t damage his brain. Martinez said he never lost consciousness.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting.

“We have reason to believe that he was hit by a bullet that was fired into the air,” according to a statement released by Sgt. J.P. Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators recovered the bullet, Martinez said, and spoke with his wife.

“We’re blessed God was with us that evening,” Martinez said.

Check back for updates.

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