TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Tucson man is feeling lucky to be alive after a near miss with a stray bullet. Only centimeters came between Ryan Bishop and potentially serious injuries, even death.
Now, he’s speaking out, hoping to get the message out about just how dangerous shooting firearms near traffic can be.
“It happened just yesterday, but I’m still in shock and awe and I can’t process it,” he said.
Bishop says just before 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, he was driving down Houghton Road and was approaching the Pima County Fairgrounds entrance when the driver’s window of his car shattered.
“I had a very loud explosion happen in my window,” said Bishop.
His first thought was that a rock flew into his window. Then, he noticed there was no oncoming traffic. So, he decided to pull over and inspect.
“I opened the door, took a look around it and then I hear this ‘Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!’” he said. “So I got in my car and continued driving.”
A safe distance away, Bishop says he pulled over again, and called police. Pima County Sheriff’s deputies and Tucson police responded.
"I did see something was sitting on my dash, I wasn't even sure what it was at first,” said Bishop. "I really didn't want to believe it was a bullet, but the Sheriff's deputies did verify that that's what it was."
That's when everything sunk in. If the bullet had entered his vehicle just a little higher, Bishop could have been shot.
He also tells us he normally drives with the windows down and his arm rested on the window ledge; exactly where the bullet entered his car.
"I'm pretty sure [eating a] taco saved my life, or at least stopped my arm from getting blown apart," he said. “I had the window closed because I didn’t want pieces of the taco flying around.”
He worries things could have been much worse for him, or others on the road that day.
"The bullet came from somewhere in the vicinity [of open desert], which is right next to the freeway,” said Bishop. "I hope whoever did this hears this story and thinks ‘Oh my gosh, I could have killed someone!’ Maybe they will think a little bit harder before they go out into the desert, close to very publicly used roads [to shoot]."
The Tucson Police Department is investigating the case as “Criminal Damage / Malicious Mischief”.There are no suspects at this time and police are not sure why someone was shooting off rounds in the Houghton Road and Bekker Road area.If you have any information on the incident, you’re asked to contact police.