BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has learned that celebratory gunfire is being blamed for injuring a Bedford Heights police officer on New Year’s Eve.

Police Chief Michael Marotta said his officer was sitting inside his cruiser when the gunfire started.

“At that point, he thought someone had opened fire on him in the police vehicle,” Marotta told the I-Team. “It came down through the roof of our police car, and struck our officer. It hit him, grazed him on his neck, and then lodged inside his bulletproof vest carrier. We did recover the bullet.”

Marotta said the officer is sore but should be OK.

“He is very lucky,” the chief noted.

In the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, police all over the region issued warnings and urged people not to take part in celebratory gunfire.

“It appears no one listened,” said Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer, as he watched a video taken by a Euclid resident New Year’s Eve. On the video, numerous gunshots can be heard.

“It sounds like a war zone. There is no reason for this at all,” he said.

Officials said numerous reports of celebratory gunfire were reported all over the area, including Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and South Euclid.

“This behavior is illegal. You cannot do this. And it can have consequences that are fatal,” Meyer said. “It needs to stop.”

Marotta agrees.

“I implore everyone to not fire firearms into the air, whether it’s celebratory or whatever,” Marotta said. “These bullets don’t disappear.”