Man at Busch Gardens Tampa hit by July 4 celebratory gunfire


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A man who was visiting Busch Gardens was hit by celebratory gunfire on the Fourth of July.

Tampa police responded to a 911 call around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Police say Scott Deel, 36, of Florahome, was walking at Busch Gardens with his wife when he felt a sudden pain to his left shoulder. His wife noticed he was bleeding, so they went to the Busch Gardens first aid center.

A Tampa police officer responded and said Deel appeared to have a bullet wound in his left shoulder, 
just above his shoulder blade. The officer said the bullet appeared to have come from behind Deel and moved downward.

Police say it appears that Deel was struck by celebratory gunfire. His injury happened at the same time that fireworks were being set off at the same time in the neighborhood surrounding Busch Gardens. 

Police say it is unlikely that the gunfire came from within Busch Gardens. 

Lee was transported to Tampa General Hospital. Doctors say they did not find a bullet lodged in Lee’s shoulder.

Busch Gardens spokeswoman Karen Varga-Sinka said the theme park is working with TPD as police investigate the incident.

“The safety of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s guests, team members and animals in our care is always our top priority,” said Varga-Sinka.

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