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Family mourning after 61-year-old killed on New Year's, likely by celebratory gunfire

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Posted at 6:28 AM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-01 07:28:12-05

HARRIS COUNTY, TX (KTRK) — A 61-year-old woman celebrating the new year with her family is dead after she was shot, likely by celebratory gunfire, deputies say.

This happened just after midnight in the 12300 block of May Laurel Drive in the Laurel Oaks subdivision.

Authorities told ABC13 the woman was standing at the end of her driveway while family and friends in the cul-de-sac were shooting off fireworks, when she suddenly clutched her body and said, "I think I've been shot."

She 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 with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "No indication a family member or anyone else in the cul-de-sac was discharging a firearm."

Officials went from house to house looking for shell casings and talking to residents in an effort to identify where the gunshot came from.

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

Deputies say no one who was with the woman at the time had a gun.