Dustin Compton, a Kentucky father, was out of work so he picked up odd jobs to support his family. He was at a friend’s house fixing the heater on New Year’s Eve and he’d brought his two-year-old son with him.
Normally he wouldn’t take his son to work, but since he was working at a friend’s house, he made an exception. He was concerned being out that night as he remembered last year’s New Year’s Eve had been riddled with celebratory gunfire. His fears soon became a reality.
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WLKY News reported at 9:30 pm he heard gunfire off in the distant. As a precaution, Dustin and his 2-year-old, Eli, stayed at their friend’s home for a couple of hours until the gunfire died down.
He explained: “It got quiet, I walked outside, I looked everywhere, looked around, there’s was nobody out. That’s when I decided, hey, it’s time we need to go ahead and go, get out of here, before it all starts back up.”
Dustin headed out to the car to put Eli into his car seat. That’s when he heard the sound of gunfire. “I heard a ‘pop.’ My heart stopped. Because instantly when I heard that sound, I knew what it was.”
His toddler son had been hit in the shoulder by a stray bullet. Dustin immediately ran back to his friend’s home and removed his son’s jacket. His friend drove them to the hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, he was relieved to hear the gunshot wasn’t life threatening.
Dustin took to Facebook to make others aware that celebratory gunfire can result in injury, or worse, death. He acknowledges how lucky he and his family were that it wasn’t the latter. He did want the perpetrator to face justice for his son’s injury.
Dustin wrote in a follow-up post: “We don’t want to live with anger in our hearts and can only hope that we find out who did this and try to prevent someone from going through the same or worse.” He ended with a simple reminder in gun safety. “They don’t even stop to think that what goes up, has to come down.”