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Early Sunday afternoon, June 01,, 2003 found me traveling west on I-80, and had just crossed into California from Nevada and was sipping some coffee that I'd purchased at MickeyD's in Reno.  There was road construction in the area, so the speed limit was 55 mph.  I had just passed a Nissan pickup truck when WHAM!!!  Glass spattered everywhere.  I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a large hole in, what used to be, the back window of my truck. All the while,  I was shaking and trying to maintain control of my truck.

Photo:  I've just pulled off the freeway at the Floriston exit.  I don't know how I managed to take a decent photo, as my hands were shaking beyond belief.  The photo clearly shows the how close I came to getting shot.

I pulled off the freeway at the next exit, Florsiton, and called 911, as it was rather apparent that I'd been shot at. The CHP dispatcher asked me for a description of the vehicle that was following me, I gave her that info, and then she asked me to sit tight, as an officer would be coming along to assist me.

After a wait of a few minutes, an officer showed up.  I told him that I had a rifle in the rear seat of the truck, as I'd been hunting coyotes and jack rabbits in Nevada.  He said that he didn't care; he looked at the damage to the truck, and told me that his colleagues had pulled over the guy that was following me, e.g. the Nissan; (I had a good "make" on the truck and a "partial" of the license plate) the Nissan guy, but the guys didn't have a gun or had even noticed my predicament.  Of course he asked me if it was ok to search my truck, as he wanted to try to find the bullet in my truck.  When I produced my Mauser '98 .308 rifle, he was impressed! He and I looked all over the truck and couldn't find a thing.  He took my vital statistics and said that he was going to look over the area and see if he could find a shooter.  I thanked him for his time, then we shook hands and went on our respective ways.  As usual, the CHP did a very professional job.  They are one of our country's premier law enforcement agencies!  I don't gripe about my share of our tax dollars that go to support the CHP.  These folks are good.  

After I got home, I unloaded everything and I found some very interesting things.  I had a keeper strap on the top of my truck's toolbox; the bullet severed it and drove the hook into the window, causing the large hole in the rear window.  That explains why I could never find the bullet in the truck, and the bullet seems to never have embedded in the dash.  Also, I had a 12-pack of beer on the floor of the back seat of the truck and three of the cans were punctured by flying glass and oozing beer!  Yet, I was untouched!

Photo:  Safe at home, I take another photo of the shattered rear window.  Right

Photo:  From the inside looking out through the hole in my window.

Due to the whereabouts of the incident, the shape of the hole and the broken keeper strap, I have a theory of what really happened.  I think someone was target shooting a high-powered rifle and the bullet went over the horizon and landed on me.  The bullet hit the keeper strap hook, bounced off, and forced the keeper strap into the rear window.

I guess sometimes it's a wise idea to avoid the freeway and stick to the trail!

UPDATE:  July 3, 2003- CHP arrested a couple of teen-age guys in the Truckee, CA area, which is in the general area of where this incident occurred.  It seems that the boys, using a .22 caliber pellet gun, were taking pot-shots at motorists along I-80.  I suppose they were bored, or, perhaps due to lack of funds couldn't afford to shoot paper targets at a legitimate rifle range, so they felt compelled to shoot at readily-available moving targets, ME in particular. The good guys had to track them down using mountain bikes, all-terrain vehicles and a CHP helicopter. No more incidents have occurred since those dudes were caught.  I guess the good guys, got their men, or should I say?  Their Boys!

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