Stray bullet shatters truck window in Chilmark

Police ask for help in finding the shooter.

This photo from the Chilmark Police shows the damage to a pickup truck window.

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.


  1. Wow! That’s a scary close call!

    Twice this past Thursday afternoon it sounded as if someone fired a shotgun in my driveway! That’s how loud it was, they were definitely close by.

    I’ve been in my home, near the tiasquam land trust for seven years and I have never heard hunters as close as they were on that day! WAY TOO CLOSE. Someone is going to get killed! There are too many year round families living in these houses, not to mention pets & livestock grazing in feilds.
    If you don’t know your direction 100%, as in enough to bet your own families lives on it, do not pull the trigger!

  2. Sadly, accidents do happen when you are hunting in an area densely populated with deer and houses.
    To say hunters are a menace just shows your ignorance. The deer population on the island is the second highest in the state, only behind Nantucket
    The next time a cute deer eats all your ornamental bushes, or jumps in front of your Prius or somehow you get lime disease. I am sure your story will change.
    The deer have no natural predator on the island and a month of regulated hunting has been happening long before you migrated to this fairy tale island

    • If it was an accident, how were humans down range from the shooter? Why was a round in chamber? This was gross stupidity.

      A choice between a deer-trimmed ornamental bush and someone being shot, that’s a tough one to call.

  3. Yes, the deer population is high but that’s because Good Humans with Guns wiped out the natural predators. That’s right, only a Good Humans with Guns can kill a bad wolf or cougar with a gun. Good Humans with Guns now kill deer, whether they’re good, law-abiding deer or the bad, tulip-eating kind. Good Humans with Guns justify having more guns as the safeguard and cure for them having guns in the first place.

  4. Your comments still show ignorance is abundant. A shotgun pellet could have easily ricocheted off a tree branch and hit the window. You don’t need to be right next to that vehicle or “down range” for that to happen.
    Did you think about the fact that in Chilmark you need written permission to be on the property. If he was in the driveway of the property without permission would the hunters know that? This was indeed an accident, no one aimed at the vehicle on purpose. Your snide remarks about good humans with guns is a small minority opinion to the many families that have been feeding their families with venison for centuries.
    Oh.. and there were never any natural predators on the island wiped out. The only substantial preditor for deer would be the coyote and they have never been able to make the treacherous swim across the sound.
    Your made up narrative about guns and gun control may sound righteous at your book club but it doesn’t fit in with the majority of island families.

    • Following the rules of gun safety should prevent what you call an accident.
      1) Treat firearms as if they are loaded.
      2) Point the muzzle away from non-targets.
      3) Keep fingers off the trigger.
      4) Be sure of the target and of what is beyond it.
      Your argument are trashed, you presenting excuses for ignorance, you argue against gun safety. You demonstrate the need for gun control, not gun rights. Consider that before posting again.

  5. You really need to calm down on your anti-hunting rage. Whether it be archery, shotgun or black powder hunting. This has gone on for centuries and will continue to do so. Owning weapons is a protected right and will also continue for quite some time to come. Years ago it was needed to help survive on this island and still does. Next time you call pea-pod and order your kale and tofu delivered, remember the folks not too long ago did not have that option. You lived off what the land could provide.

  6. For some reason, you misunderstood my comment. I am absolutely concerned about gun safety. Anyone handling a weapon should be. I was mainly commenting on the fact that people are fanatical about hunters and hunting.
    You don’t need to lecture me on gun safety. I have hunted all my life without an accident.
    I guarantee, I have safely and respectfully possessed a class A concealed LTC in the state longer than you have ever held a gun in your hands.
    Keep your lecturing to yourself.

    • Your claims and comments indicate you cannot be trusted to teach gun safety.

      As for how long since I first held a weapon, MSGT Hall would politely disagree.

      The view from where you sit is you are always right and everyone else is wrong. You want this to be about hunters and hunting when it’s about gun ownership and safety.

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