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Texas nurse killed by celebratory gunfire minutes after new year

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A Texas woman was killed by a stray bullet while celebrating New Year’s Eve with her family.

Sheriff’s deputies said Philippa Ashford was struck by celebratory gunfire just minutes after midnight at the end of her driveway in a Harris County subdivision, reported KTRK-TV.

The 61-year-old nurse was outside with family and friends shooting off fireworks in a cul-de-sac when she suddenly clutched her body and said, “I think I’ve been shot.”

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Ashford then collapsed to the ground and died.

“At this point from our witnesses and seeing at the scene, we believe this may very well be a case of celebratory gunfire somewhere else in the neighborhood,” said Sgt. Ben Beall, of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. “No indication a family member or anyone else in the cul-de-sac was discharging a firearm.”

Deputies said none of the people with Ashford had a gun, and investigators went from house to house looking for shell casings and questioning neighbors.

“I don’t know you can even figure what the odds are,” Beall said. “You’ve got the family together, celebrating the new year and now the matriarch of the family is deceased.”

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