I missed getting shot in the head by six inches.

I was with a friend in the car, turning into a parking lot when the side window got shot out. The whole window shattered instantly. Good thing it was safety glass. As it was my face got sprayed with some tiny glass bits and the skin on my neck is irritated. The hole isn’t that big, so I’m thinking it was a BB gun or something. We were on a side road without much traffic, so we’re pretty sure it wasn’t a rock being thrown by a tire or something like that. Scary!

What the hell? What did the cops say? I’m glad you’re alright!
Wait, a BB gun is strong enough to blow out a car window? You guys get way cooler toys than this side of the park.


We didn’t bother filing a police report. We didn’t see who did it! And there were no shots after that one. And the insurer didn’t ask for one. And when we got back, the phone book had no non-emergency numbers for the police. My friend said if she can find the offending projectile laying in the car somewhere, she’ll call them to ask if they want the evidence. But based on my past experience with filling police reports, unless you have some really obvious evidence for them, they don’t bother doing any investigation.

I assumed it was a BB gun based on the size of the hole, but I don’t know much about guns. Maybe there are common bullets smaller than I imagine them being. The window didn’t “blow out” per se, although I imagine it would have if it wasn’t safety glass, since the entire thing turned instantly into craquelure, and chunks were falling off on the way home. But immediately after the incident, we were able to see the hole.

I keep telling myself that it was probably only a BB and wouldn’t have done much damage if it hit me, but the state of the window and the loud noise involved make it hard to convince myself. Also, having seen too many sci-fi shows I keep imagining that I did die, and everything since is some kind of after-life imagination or a quantum suicide sort of situation LOL.

OTOH, it was so random and unexpected (I’m not in an inner city or anything), and it was effectively already over before I was even fully aware of it. I really don’t know what to make of it. Maybe I’ll be slightly more motivated for a little while, and it will make a cool story for my kids one day.

There are some rifle cartridges in the .17-.20 caliber range and some pellet guns go up to a .22 pellet.

List on Wiki.

I estimate it was 3/8 - 1/2 an inch hole which according to google is 9.5 to 12.7mm - although my friend was closer and thought it might be a little larger, but I really don’t think the hole was larger than 15mm. Can a projectile make a hole smaller than itself in cracked glass? The hole was bigger than the diameter of a BB, maybe by as much as 2x, but smaller than what I imagine the size of bullets to be.

You should tell the cops just to start establishing a pattern if one develops. A boy I went to school with went through a period of about a month, shooting random cars with a .22. He never hit a person and was finally caught but it took a lot of separate reports over multiple days realize the problem and track it down.

He was a 6th grader and all of the shootings were before school. In my district Jr. high and high school started an hour earlier than elementary. By having multiple reports they were able to rule out the Jr. high and high school kids and focus on older elementary students and catch him pretty quickly.

You were not shot by a .50 caliber rifle. :wink:

I would imagine the projectile made a bigger hole than itself.

Air guns can be quite powerful. Some shoot pellets at nearly the same velocity as a .22 (firearm) bullet.

The most common airgun pellets are .177 and .22 caliber. They are lighter than firearm projectiles so have less inertia. BBs are .177 caliber.

Seconding this—sometimes the purpose of a police report isn’t to solve the crime, but to collect statistics, which in turn allocate resources to solve crimes.

And I’m glad you weren’t hit!

Another likely suspect would be some ne’er-do-well with a wrist rocket.

When I was a teenager, there were some kids that would do exactly what you described, using their slingshots.
And the damage sounds similar: the hole sounds pretty big to be from a BB or pellet, but it sounds just about right for one of those ball bearings that slingshot users prefer (scroll down the linked Amazon page to see the ammo).

Your imagination is wrong. There are plenty of bullets with a diameter that small. In fact, most of your common bullets these days have a diameter smaller than the hole you’ve described.

There are a lot of possibilities here. It could have been a BB gun. It could have been a slingshot and a rock. It could have even been a bullet. Unless you find the projectile, you may never know.

It might have been a deliberate shot at your car, or it might not have. It could have been some moron in his back yard shooting at tin cans and just not paying enough attention to where his bullets go if he misses. It could have been a drunken redneck firing a shot into the air from a couple of miles away. On the other hand, it could have been some guy with a mental problem who just wanted to kill someone at random.

I also agree with sitchensis and others. You should tell the police even though they probably won’t do anything about it. If they start getting a lot of similar reports they probably will change their mind and do something, but they can’t do that if people don’t give them reports.

I’m glad you’re OK! How is your skin feeling now?

Scary thought! Yeah, like I said, I don’t really know anything about guns.

OK I’ll see how my friend wants to handle that.

Thanks! It’s no longer irritated. I think a tiny bit of glass dust had just gotten onto my collar.

I think you should report it, too. We had a news story here recently about some tools who were shooting at a photoradar box, missed with one of the shots, and it went through the body of a truck passing by. It missed hitting the kid sitting in the seat by about six inches, too. Nothing might come of your report, but you never know. An asshole who thinks nothing of shooting in such a way that passersby are in danger needs some consequences at some point.