IDIOT FIRES GUN INTO THE AIR, COLLEGE STUDENT PAYS THE PRICE: Allyson Cole said she and her roommate, 22-year-old Kaitlyn Kong, watched the Acorn Drop at midnight and were listening to music when Kong suddenly dropped her phone and grabbed both her chest and her friend. "'I’ve been hit. I got hurt really bad,'" Cole said Kong told her. "Her breathing was labored, so I knew something was wrong." Police said the two women were near the intersection of Fayetteville and Davie streets when revelers fired guns in the air at 12:05 a.m. to celebrate the new year during a fireworks display. Kong was taken to WakeMed, where an X-ray revealed an object in her abdomen. Raleigh police said the bullet entered her chest and landed in her abdomen. Based on its trajectory, investigators said they believe the bullet came from above. Cole and Kong's mother, Gwynne Kong, said the bullet nicked one of Kaitlyn Kong's lungs, perforated her diaphragm, went through her stomach and ended up next to her hip.
5 YEAR-OLD BOY SHOOTS HIMSELF WITH IDIOT FATHER'S GUN: Authorities say a 5-year-old shot in the face in a North Carolina fast-food restaurant drive-thru pulled a gun from a pocket in the back of the car’s passenger seat, where his father put it days earlier while cleaning. Police said in a statement Monday that the boy unbuckled himself from his booster seat outside a Wendy’s restaurant in Randleman on Sunday afternoon and grabbed the .45, which discharged as his mother got set to place an order. The boy was critically injured. Police say the boy’s father told investigators he put his handgun in the seat pocket, without the boy’s mother’s knowledge, as he vacuumed two days earlier and forgot to remove it. At the conclusion of their investigation, police say investigators will meet with prosecutors to determine charges.
PITTENGER SAYS HE WILL NOT RUN IN NEW PRIMARY FOR NC09 SEAT: Outgoing U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger said Monday he won’t run if there’s a new Republican primary in the 9th Congressional District, a move that would open the door to other candidates. The three-term congressman lost to Mark Harris in May’s Republican primary. Harris went on to defeat Democrat Dan McCready in November — but fraud allegations, mostly involving absentee ballot irregularities in Bladen and Robeson counties, have thrown the outcome into doubt. Pittenger, who leaves office on Thursday, said he plans to continue in private life what he’s done in Congress: organize gatherings of international lawmakers on subjects related to security and terrorism. “I feel like what I’m going to be doing is as important as what I’ve been doing,” Pittenger, 70, told The Charlotte Observer. “I’m not going to run. I want to make that clear.” Pittenger’s announcement comes amid increasing uncertainty over an election clouded by allegations of fraud.
FACEBOOK APOLOGIZES AFTER TEMPORARILY BANNING FRANKLIN GRAHAM: Facebook has apologized for temporarily banning North Carolina evangelist Franklin Graham from its platform over a 2016 post about the state's "bathroom bill." The Asheville Citizen Times reports Facebook apologized to Graham on Sunday. Graham, the son of the late Rev. Billy Graham, said last week that platform banned him for 24 hours in December, saying the post violated community hate speech standards. Graham said the post focused on the now-repealed House Bill 2, which required transgender people to often use restrooms matching their birth certificates. Graham said his post was about Bruce Springsteen canceling a concert over the bill and "backward progress." Graham said in the post that "a nation embracing sin and bowing at the feet of godless secularism and political correctness is not progress."
U.S. BORDER PATROL FIRES TEAR GAS CANISTERS INTO MEXICAN TERRITORY: At least three volleys of tear gas were sent across the border, according to The Associated Press, which said the gas affected women and children. In its account, Customs and Border Protection said that “no agents witnessed any of the migrants at the fence line, including children, experiencing effects of the chemical agents, which were targeted at the rock throwers.” The Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Customs and Border Protection, has come under intense scrutiny for how it has treated migrants at the border and in the United States. Rights experts have questioned whether the firing of tear gas across the border is justifiable or legal; the number of detained migrant children has soared to the highest ever recorded; and at least two children have died in United States custody.