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Sheriffs make arrest in mysterious stray bullet that injured girl, 12, in Norwalk

The girl was injured about 8:15 a.m. Nov. 28 in the 14000 block of Jersey Avenue, the sheriff’s department reported.

Andres Ruiz, 35, of Norwalk, was arrested in January and has since pleaded no contest to a charge of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner, with a special allegation of great bodily injury, a sheriff’s statement said. On Feb. 2, Ruiz was sentenced to serve 52 months in state prison.

“The bullet fell from the sky and struck the girl on her forehead,” a sheriff’s statement said. “The impact of the bullet caused extensive non-life threatening trauma to the girl’s eyebrow and eyelid.”

The girl was taken to a hospital for treatment and is continuing to recover.

“Initially, it was unclear how the girl was injured,” the statement said. “Witnesses did not see or hear anything that would have explained the unforeseen injury. However, after a .40-caliber bullet was found inside the girl’s backpack, the authorities were alerted.”

Detective Mark Christiansen led the investigation.

“Detective Christiansen researched projectile patterns and the velocity of bullets fired in the air,” the statement said. “He scrutinized calls for service in an effort to identify any information which would explain where the bullet came from. Unfortunately, all the diligent investigative work failed to uncover any clues in solving the case.”

A break in the case came on Jan. 24, when the Norwalk Station received a call about 9:50 a.m. regarding gunshots heard in the area of Gard Avenue.

“Patrol deputies responded to the area and located expended shell casings in the street,” the statement said. “Based on witness statements, deputies detained a suspect near the scene. The suspect was in possession of a loaded .40-caliber handgun.”

Christiansen collaborated with the deputy assigned to the call, and “something resonated with him,” the statement said.

“The caliber of bullet, the proximity of the gunfire, and the time of the incident led him to immediately think of the injured girl,” the statement said.