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8-year-old shot in foot possibly by celebratory gunfire during New Year's Eve celebrations identified

5:18 PM, Jan 2, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An 8-year-old boy suffered non-life threatening injuries after being shot in the foot during New Year's Eve festivities on Jacksonville's Riverwalk.

Lt. Jimmy Judge with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said police received a call about a child being shot three minutes before midnight.

Lt. Judge said that a couple minutes before the call the 8-year-old boy, identified as Luke Whitehead in a JSO police report, was on the Southbank Riverwalk with his family waiting for the fireworks to start.

The boy told his father, Asa Whitehead, that something hit him in his foot and that it really hurt, Lt. Judge said.

When the boy's father checked the child's shoe, Judge said the dad found a bullet. The boy's father then took the child to a police officer working in the area.

Emergency personnel transported the 8-year-old to Shands Jacksonville with non-life threatening injuries.

Judge said the child was injured on the Southbank behind the hotels on the east side of the Main Street Bridge.

Police believe it could be celebratory gunfire that was fired into the air, but Judge said it was still early in their investigation.

JSO said they ask people not to fire guns in the area for any reason since whatever comes up must eventually come back down.

If you have any information which could help police you are asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or via email at

If you would like to remain anonymous you may contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. You could be eligible to receive a cash reward.

First Coast News

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