It was just moments into the new year of 2017, and while so many had high hopes for the fresh start, a child in Alabama was to be given no new start at all.

Shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve, a 5-year-old girl in Athens, Alabama was attending a family and friend gathering when she was fatally shot by celebratory gunfire.

Fidel Rodriguez Canchola was attending the party when he joined in the festivities by firing several rounds from his handgun toward the crowd during the midnight celebrations.

During his firing, the little girl wandered into the path and a bullet lodged itself into her chest. She was shortly pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Canchola fled the scene immediately but was found by police in his home later that day.

The 34-year-old Canchola has been charged with criminally negligent homicide, a class A misdemeanor.

Police say that other party attendees threw the gun over the fence and told police that they had heard gun sounds coming from down the road, attempting to cover for their friend.

Each year, incidences of gun-related fatalities seem to grow more and more, with children all too often caught up in the crossfire. Because one man was incredibly irresponsible with a deadly weapon in a moment of joy, a tiny child has lost her life.

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at