EAST MANATEE -- Two women were injured when they were hit from shrapnel set off by exploding illegal fireworks, according to Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
The incident happened about 9:38 p.m. Saturday in the 7800 block of 110th Avenue East, Bradenton.
The women, ages 53 and 32, were watching a display of illegal fireworks, when a mortar tube about to launch a rocket fell over. A man, identified as Jeffery DeMarco, 29, tried right the tube but it fired, sending a rocket toward the women, according to a news release.
The rocket hit a garage door, exploded and sent the casing in several directions.
The women were hit by shrapnel in their lower legs and feet, deputies said.
The older woman's injuries were more serious, and she was taken to Blake Medical Center for treatment. The younger woman was taken to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, according to the sheriff's office.
DeMarco, who was charged with possession of illegal fireworks, was cooperative, and deputies said the misfiring of the rocket appeared to have been accidental.