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Passing car hit by multiple bullets on Decatur street Sunday
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Passing car hit by multiple bullets on Decatur street Sunday

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DECATUR — Police said a Decatur man was lucky to escape injury early Sunday when his car was hit by multiple bullets while driving past a home that was recently at the center of a major law enforcement operation to apprehend a suspect on weapons charges.

Detective Sgt. Chris Copeland said bullets shattered windows in the vehicle and one was later dug out from an area between the driver's seat and the driver’s door.

The 38-year-old driver told police he had been attacked around 1 a.m. as he drove along the 1200 block of East Hickory Street.

A home there had been surrounded by police on the afternoon of June 9 after a man pursued by officers had fled into it. He later surrendered and was booked on weapons charges but the incident sparked a tense confrontation between police and a large crowd that gathered outside and, according to Decatur Police Chief Jim Getz, some in that crowd were hostile and threatening.

The man who was shot at early Sunday said he was out test driving a car he had been working on and, as he was passing the same house, heard someone yell out. “He circled the block and drove back around because he said he has family in that area and thought it might have been one of his family members yelling at him,” said Copeland.

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When he approached the house in the 1200 block of East Hickory this time he told police there was a man standing in the middle of the road and several more nearby, including two close to the home’s front porch.

“So he swerved to go around the man who was standing in the roadway and once he got to the middle of a nearby intersection he heard approximately 10 gunshots and heard the glass in his vehicle shatter,” said Copeland.

“He put his head down and continued to drive … until he got back to where he had been working on the car.”

Copeland police checked over the vehicle and found it had been struck several times, with multiple windows shattered and more bullet fragments found on the rear floorboard near the backseat.

“Police recovered eight 9mm shell casings in the intersection and 10 additional 9mm casings on the front porch of the residence,” said Copeland. “Officers tried to make contact but there was nobody around and nobody answered the door.”

Copeland said the man told investigators he has no idea why he was targeted.


Mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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