On Tuesday afternoon at around 4:30, a bullet shattered the passenger-side window of a Toyota pickup truck as it traveled on South Road, in the vicinity of Swan’s Way.
According to a report from Chilmark Police Chief Jonathan Klaren, police were on their way to Alley’s General Store to meet with a driver who had been involved with a collision with a deer on South Road when they came across a Toyota pickup truck with hazard lights flashing, next to a deer carcass.
The driver told police he was headed west on South Road when he saw the deer carcass. While he was making a U-turn in the driveway of 100 South Road, a bullet shattered his passenger-side window “just seconds before CPD’s arrival.”
Minutes later, Chilmark Police officers heard a second shot, coming from the south side of South Road, in the vicinity of Wososket Lane, then a third shot from the southwest.
Police spoke to three hunters who heard the shots. “Their accounts helped narrow down the area that the first shot that struck the vehicle originated,” the report states.
Neither the driver, whose name was not given in the report, nor his dog, which was sitting in the front seat, were injured.
Chilmark Police searched the area on Wednesday, and on Thursday they were assisted by a Massachusetts Environmental Police K-9 patrol.
“We didn’t find anything definitive,” Environmental Police Lt. Matt Bass told The Times. “There were a number of people hunting in the area that we were able to rule out. It’s very dense brush in that area. Whether it was a rifle slug fired from a muzzleloader from a mile away that bounced off the window, or one of 18 pellets from a shotgun making its way through the woods, we couldn’t determine.”
Lt. Bass said state law prohibits discharge of a firearm within 150 feet of a road or 500 feet of a house. “But some people don’t realize those are just a safety buffer,” he said. “Just because you’re at 510 feet doesn’t mean you can turn around and shoot in the direction of a house. You will hit it.”
Lt. Bass said that last week he was called to investigate a muzzleloader round that hit a building in Brewster. “For some reason that wasn’t in the press,” he said.
Both incidents remain under investigation by police. “It’s very serious when someone nearly gets struck,” Lt. Bass said.
The report states Chilmark Police do not believe the truck was intentionally targeted, “but these shots were deliberately taken.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Chilmark Police at 508-645-3310.