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HOLLYWOOD, FL -- Brandon Reid was up late at his mother's home, happily watching TV coverage of the Miami Heat's third championship win -- when suddenly, a bullet zipped through the sliding glass door and into his head.
The wounded 15-year-old boy fell to the ground. Puzzled by what happened, he stood back up. He knew it was serious when his mother and younger brother came to his aid and looked worried.
Brandon turned out to be the victim of what Miramar police say was celebratory gunfire following the Heat's win just before midnight Thursday.
"I thought a rock hit me first," Brandon recalled Saturday during a news conference at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.
The boy and his family said they were grateful that doctors successfully removed the bullet from the lower right side of Brandon's head. The boy's prognosis is good.
"This young man here is a brave young man, a very strong young man," said Brandon's stepfather, Daryl Denson. "It's a miracle that Brandon is still here with us, sitting up here in this hospital."
Pediatric neurosurgeon Dean Hertzler said Brandon was fortunate, because the bullet hit the thickest part of his skull, leaving a slight crack. Hertzler said he thinks the bullet may have slowed going through the glass door.
Brandon, of Norcross, Ga., near Atlanta, has been on vacation visiting his mom, Stacy Morgan, for the summer.
Thursday night, Brandon said he was watching Miami Heat player LeBron James on TV -- he recalls that James was about to hoist the trophy into the air -- when the incident happened in the 2100 block of Sherman Circle North.
Reacting to the Heat win, Reid was getting up and rounding a couch to wake his mother. He wanted to tell her about the victory. And then the bullet pierced into him.
Reid walked to the bathroom and tilted a side mirror to see what he described as a giant hole.
Like many parents would, Brandon's mother began to panic. Through all the chaos, Brandon's brother, Daryl Denson Jr., 11, dialed 911. Family members and others praised Daryl for his calm demeanor.
Paramedics arrived and told Reid he was a very lucky young man after seeing the location of the wound. "That made me feel a little better about the situation," said Brandon, who then was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital.
The first call that Reid made was to his father, Marvin Reid, who still was in Atlanta at the time.
"I thought he called me to brag about the fact that the Heat won, because it was quite simultaneous with the win," Reid said.
Mirimar Police spokeswoman Tania Rues said police don't suspect Brandon was the shooter's target. Instead, it appeared to be celebratory gunfire.
"We had a couple of phone calls about shots fired in the area," Rues said. "He wasn't specifically targeted based on the trajectory."
The 40-minute surgery on Friday to remove the bullet and damaged tissue went smothly, Hertzler said. Brandon was expected to be released from the hospital late Saturday.
Sitting in his hospital room, Brandon said he felt great and was in good spirits. He said the hardest part of the ordeal was breaking the news to people who care about him.
Denson describes his football- and basketball-playing stepson as a boy "who anyone would love to have as a son." The high-schooler has a 4.0 grade-point average, he said.
Reid said he wished he could have gotten to South Florida sooner to tend to his wounded son.
"To be 700 miles away, and you hear that your son got a gunshot to the head, you're kind of left, I guess, paralyzed,' he said.
All he could do as he flew in from Atlanta was pray, stay calm, and hope for the best, he said.
"We're glad they won but the fact that it could have turned into something tragic, it just makes you think," Reid said. "Now you think safety before you think to celebrate and that's just the way it is from this point forward."
Police ask anyone with information on the shooting to contact Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-8477.
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