A man dressed in a Santa Claus costume was shot in the back while handing out toys in Washington DC.
A television crew in the US capital was filming the man as he walked along a street.
The BBC reports he waved and started to say ''Merry ...'' before staggering in pain as a pellet hit him. Witnesses said it was fired from the second floor of a nearby house.
ABC reported that the man would be out of hospital on Christmas Eve after the pellet was removed.
A man dressed as the Grinch, a Dr Suess cartoon character, took over delivery duties at the event - an annual gift giveaway for children.