Texas nurse killed by celebratory gunfire

Philippa “Phil” Ashford was killed on New Year’s Eve by what police believe was celebratory gunfire.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez wrote in a statement that the 61-year-old woman was celebrating New Year’s by setting off fireworks with her family in Laurel Oaks, outside Houston, when she called out that she had been shot. When authorities arrived, she was pronounced dead at the scene.


“Celebratory shooting, it shouldn’t happen and it’s unfortunate,” said John Babineaux, a neighbor who happens to be a retired officer. “You shouldn’t have to worry about stray bullets coming down and hitting you. But it happens all the time and innocent people get hurt and killed out here.”

-John Babineaux

On New Year’s Eve, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo held a news conference urging people not to shoot guns in the air to celebrate and that it’s illegal.

“What goes up must come down if you discharge a firearm in the city of Houston in the air that is an absolute crime it will be taken seriously,” Acevedo said.


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