A western Iowa man was grazed by a bullet as he rode in a pickup truck through Indiana, one of four vehicles hit by sniperfire Sunday on Hoosier state interstates.
Twenty-five-year-old Robert Hartl of Audubon was treated and released. Another motorist was killed. No arrests have been made. Hartl says he realizes he’s very lucky. “When I heard the bang, I thought the front windshield blew out,” he says. “But once we pulled off the interstate, we heard the cops knew what was going on already because the car ahead of us, somebody got killed. They got their head blown off.”
Hartl — or “Little Bob,” as he’s known — said he didn’t immediately know what hit him. “The only thing I could feel was — my hand was throbbing so bad. I thought a piece of glass come and cut it or something.” Hartl had bullet fragments in his hand, chest and face.
While authorities in Indiana are examining the bullet fragments from the shooting to determine what type of weapon was used, Hartl says he’s pretty sure it was buckshot. “I couldn’t believe it was that loud. I go hunting and stuff and I’ve never heard anything that loud,” he says. “It was kinda’ weird — it was just like an explosion.”
Hartl was riding in the passenger seat of a pickup being driven by a friend and co-worker, Brandon Bonneson of Anita. Bonneson and Hartl were headed to Florida for a construction job. Bonneson says he didn’t know what happened, initially. He was driving at 1 AM and there was very little traffic and didn’t really see anything, there was just a loud “boom” all of the sudden and he looked over to see his friend holding his hand.
Bonneson says the sound was deafening. Bonneson says the bang was so loud, they couldn’t hear anything for 20 seconds or so. Hartl says he called his family to let them know he was okay. His wife, Amber, wanted him to come home right away, but both men are still on the road for Florida.
The Iowans’ pickup was hit by the sniper near Seymour, Indiana, where the second motorist was killed. Another set of attacks Sunday took place about 100 miles away on a different Indiana interstate. Police are trying to determine if the two sets of shootings are related.