LADSON, SC (WCSC) - A Ladson woman is raising awareness about stray bullets after a close call on Christmas Day.
Kristyn Hicks says a stray bullet landed about 20 feet away from where she was sitting with friends and family around 8:15 on Christmas night.
"[We were] just talking about the morning and our children opening the presents with our neighbors and just sitting around the fire pit," Hicks said.
About 15 minutes later that joyous mood took a turn.
"We heard a very loud bang," she said.
What they found next was unsettling.
"So we went over to look at our next door neighbors house, we had discovered that they had a bullet hole in the hood of the vehicle and then there was a 9 mm slug on the ground and it was very scary," Hicks said.
That's when they called Summerville Police, alerted their neighbors and went inside.
"It was just so surreal, could it have hit one of my children," she said. "It could have killed them it could have ended their precious life and a lot of people don't really understand that shooting guns up in the air can cause such catastrophes."
She says there were about eight shots during a 10-minute span, a terrifying moment for one of her twin daughters.
"My daughter she was petrified, she didn't want to go into the house because the bullets — off from a distance — you still could hear them," Hicks said.
Despite the circumstances, they're feeling fortunate.
"Had the shooter tilted his hand one degree while shooting the gun, it could have definitely hit one of the six, seven, eight of us out there so please be careful, I know New Year's is coming up" she said.
She believes it was a celebratory gunfire or the shooting of a gun into the air.
There are groups that raise awareness about stray bullets and celebratory gun shots in the air like Bullet Free Sky.
Though it may not be intended stray bullets can kill people and and as a result, fatalities are happening across the world. A shooter could also face criminal charges.
Hicks says police are still searching for the person who shot the gun.