For most people, the Fourth of July is time to go out and celebrate, but each year, for one Harlingen woman it's reminder of how dangerous this holiday can be.
"First reaction was the kids get them inside, get them inside. That was what I right away thought of get the kids inside," said Carmen Cordero
Carmen Cordero says she is afraid to celebrate outside during the Fourth of July for the last five years.
She says she was sitting on her porch when she suddenly felt a sharp pain.
"I didn TMt really know what it was until after I saw it and my husband said It TMs a bullet. You TMre going to have to go to the emergency room and have it removed," she said.
Cordero was struck in the arm by a bullet. She says at first she thought it was a bottle rocket firework. Police believe the bullet came from a nearby 22-caliber handgun that was fired in the air. Bullets that go up always come back down.
Harlingen Police Sergeant John Parish told Action 4 News, "Years past, throughout the nation when these things happen people have been injured sometimes seriously injured so then you'd be looking at much more serious charges."
Weapons being fired are not the only concern during this holiday. Even the smallest of fireworks can also pose a danger.
"There TMs a possibility of children getting hurt for--by popping fireworks, by leaving them alone, but not supervising the children with that have the fireworks," warns Weslaco Fire Chief Santiago Cuellar.
He said sparklers can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit causing nasty burns.
Harlingen police want to keep illegal fireworks out of their city. They've even beefed up their patrols.
"We have a special detail out tonight that will be concentrating strictly on the fireworks calls and also looking for those types of violations...our primary goal would be to protect the public and just general safety," said Sgt. Parish
Sergeant Parish says those caught with illegal fireworks will be cited. He also warns that firing a handgun in the air is illegal and violators could face anywhere from a misdemeanor charge to a felony.