Student or Learner
Hit by bullets.
Two bystanders hit by bullets as police chase man in New York City.
Is the phrase in red commonly used?
Thus, reading the headline "Two bystanders hit by bullets as police....etc", I would guess that the bystanders were wounded by accident by either the police, or by the man they were chasing. Reading "Two bystanders shot as police chase....etc", I would guess that the man whom the police were chasing shot the bystanders deliberately.
I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....
I certainly agree that the bystanders were accidental victims - the words "bystanders" and "hit by bullets" give me that impression. However, it is impossible to say whether they were shot by the police or by the man who was being chased.
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
'Hit by bullets' can also mean that they were struck by ricocheting bullets.
Or indeed when someone trips in the doorway of a gun shop and accidentally spills his/her recent purchase of ammunition; the bullets don't have to be fired for them to hit someone. (Generally, 'hit' doesn't mean 'shot'.)