|Xavier Hawkins playing Santa Claus during toy giveaway in Washington, DC, moments before he was shot in the back.|
A Christmas Eve toy giveaway in the Barry Farms area of Washington, DC, took a turn for the bizarre Tuesday when two shots were fired from a pellet gun, and Santa Claus was hit in the back.
Barry Farms is a neighborhood made up almost entirely of public housing projects, where gunfire is a somewhat normal part of life. Even so, Santa taking a round was a new low.
"It's sad news, but I'm not surprised with what's going on around here," said one neighborhood resident.
"Not on Christmas! Don't shoot Santa. That's bad," said another.
Xavier Hawkins, the man who was shot, has played Santa during toy giveaways in the neighborhood for the past seven years. Despite the pain, and the hole in his back, and a quick trip to the emergency room, Hawkins hung on to the Christmas spirit.
"Thank God I'm living and it's not a real gun," he said. "I'm very grateful that no one else got hit -- especially the kids."
The entire incident was filmed live by a local television crew. Cops who responded to the scene said they felt the mysterious shots came from a second floor window, but they weren't sure which one. The shooter was likely very naughty, and not at all nice, they added.
While Hawkins went to the hospital, a man in a Grinch suit stepped in for him. The Grinch, whose usual role would include stealing all the toys and decorations, actually continued distributing the toys to the children. No more shots were fired.
Two weeks ago, Fox News host Megyn Kelly made headlines when she declared emphatically on the air that "Santa is white." She immediately became the prime suspect in the shooting of Hawkins, who is black. As of this writing, Kelly has declined comment.
Watch disturbing footage of Santa taking a slug in the back (for your sins):