A paintball fired from a passing car in the Rattlesnake Valley late Saturday night came within a sliver of blinding a bicyclist.
“It was the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life,” said Emily Plant, who sported a shiner Tuesday along with a terrifying memory.
Plant and her husband, Andrew, were biking north around midnight on Rattlesnake Drive where it takes a 90-degree turn in front of Lincolnwood. The small car, a dark blue or black hatchback, was traveling in the other direction.
Plant said it happened so fast she didn’t recall many details, but she thinks the shot came from the backseat window on the driver’s side.
“I heard three shots. One hit my hand and another hit my face,” she said.
The latter made contact on bone above the eye. Andrew Plant was also hit but not injured, according to a police report.
Andrew immediately called 9-1-1, though it was impossible to provide many details.
Emily Plant said a neighbor told her there was paintball damage at several residences in the neighborhood that night.
“I’m going to be OK,” she said. “I have a little bit of nerve damage right now and a nice black eye. But I’m extremely lucky I’m not blinded.”
Plant and Missoula police are asking for help tracking down the paintball shooter.
“Anybody with information of who it might be or any other victims from the same time period, we’d sure like to hear from you directly or through Crime Stoppers,” Police Sgt. Travis Welch said Tuesday.
Welsh can be contacted at 552-6290. Call Five Valleys Crime Stoppers at (406) 721-4444. You may be eligible for a cash reward and you can remain anonymous.