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WESLACO, RGV – State Rep. Armando ‘Mando’ Martinez tells the Rio Grande Guardian he is recovering well after being shot in the head by a stray bullet.

The incident happened just after midnight on Sunday, authorities said. The longtime legislator was celebrating the New Year with family and friends outside a home north of Weslaco, his hometown. A stray shot hit him in the head and he was rushed to Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco. He was later transferred to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen where he was operated on by surgeons.

“I am out of surgery,” Martinez told the Rio Grande Guardian. “I am doing much better. The surgeons removed a bullet from my skull. Thank you for your prayers.”

Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

Martinez, a Democrat, was first elected to the Texas House in 2005 and is vice chair of the House Committee on Transportation. He is looking forward to his seventh session in the legislature, which begins later this month. Martinez is a firefighter, licensed paramedic, critical care flight paramedic, Texas Department of Health instructor and coordinator.

Late Sunday evening, Martinez posted this message on Facebook:

“To all of my Facebook friends and family, I would like to sincerely thank you for your prayers and well wishes. Words cannot express how grateful I am for the endless calls and messages.

“God has blessed us with life and we are thankful. I apologize for not answering calls or answering all my messages I am still in Neuro ICU and recovering, but hope to be home soon.

“Thank you once again for keeping me in your prayers. Happy New Year, May God bless you and May God bless Texas!!! #andoconmando #fightforlife”

The Rio Grande Guardian will bring more details as they become available.