A scar across Diego Duran's head marks where doctors operated on him after he was struck by a stray bullet (photo courtesy the Duran family)
Ruskin, Florida - He has a scar from ear to ear, but a boy from Ruskin is on the mend and his mom couldn't be happier.
"He's doing great," Sandy Duran told reporters on Friday. "Considering what has happened, he's come a long way. He's been so brave and I'm so proud of him."
Diego Duran, 12, was in his yard New Year's Eve when he took a bullet to the head, the result of celebratory gunfire. Remarkably, he remembers the moment that nearly took his life.
"He said it felt like electricity, like a big vibration throughout his body that just dropped him to the ground," said Sandy.
The boy endured several brain surgeries, including one to remove the .45 caliber bullet. Investigators believe it was fired within a mile of his home and they are still trying to identify the shooter.
Sandy now speaks out, hoping to curb such gunplay. "Once somebody shoots in the air, everybody's life is in danger," she said.
Diego is back at home now, doing homework and wishing he could hop on his skateboard and try out a ramp that he and his father just built. Doctors don't want him to hit his head, so it's a good thing fishing is also a passion.
Sandy also wants to thank the community of Ruskin and the people of greater Tampa Bay for all their support.
"Everybody's kind of held hands to send their loving energy and their unconditional love to Diego and I really appreciate it," she said. "I know it has a lot to do with his healing."
See Also: Continued updates on Diego's progress