Celebratory gunfire at Whitehall’s fireworks leaves man hospitalized

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Celebratory gunfire at Whitehall’s 4th of July fireworks nearly killed one man. Police said they need the public’s help identifying who fired that shot.

Mario Jovanovski, 21, and his girlfriend Amanda McGarran met at John Bishop Park Sunday evening right before the fireworks started. “The first fireworks went off and he grabbed his head and said babe, I’ve just been shot,” said McGarran.

She said the impact knocked him to his knees. ”I was scared I didn’t know what to do, I started crying at first, but thought I can’t cry because he is going to think it is worse. I just needed to get help for him,” she said.

McGarran said the first officer they told about the shooting ran off. She was not sure whether he ran for help, so she told Franklin County mounted deputies, who she said pointed her to a medic.  Sgt. John Grebb with Whitehall police said investigators will look at the timeline related to the shooting and Jovanovski’ s medical aid.

Jovanovski was treated there then transported to Grant Medical Center, where a bullet was surgically removed from his head. “It was stuck in his head and they had to wait until Monday to get it out,” McGarran said.

He was released from the hospital Tuesday morning and McGarran said he was recovering at home.

His family is was on the other side of the park when they heard about the shooting. His brother said they are still shook up and angry.

“It is not right to fire a gun at any kind of holiday, because anybody could have got shot, kid, mother father,” said Renato Jovanovski.

Sgt. Grebb said the shot came from a handgun, but would not reveal what was the caliber of the bullet.

He said the shooting was senseless. “The most frustrating thing about this is whoever did this does not care, they just don’t care about where that bullet went, who it might strike what it might strike, or what happened to it. To them it is a game.”

If police can identify the shooter, he or she could faces a misdemeanor  count of negligent assault, Sgt. Grebb said, unless they can prove they meant to intentionally harm someone.

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