EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSW.VA. MAN SHOT
from Eyewitness News Online
AP: Montana Authorities Say West Virginia Man Who Claimed To Be A Victim, Shot Himself
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Also Contributing: Associated Press
Reported: Jun. 11, 2012 10:50 AM EDT
Updated: Jun. 15, 2012 2:19 PM EDT
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- Authorities say a West Virginia man who claimed to be a victim of a drive-by shooting along a rural Montana highway has confessed to shooting himself.
The Valley County sheriff says 39-year-old Ray Dolin of Julian, W. Va., made the acknowledgment Thursday night.
The case remains under investigation and charges are possible but have not been filed.
Dolin claimed he was hitchhiking along U.S. Highway 2 west of Glasgow when the driver of a maroon pickup pulled over and shot him in the arm.
Authorities later arrested a 52-year-old man and charged him felony assault. The charge against Lloyd Christopher Danielson III was dropped Thursday.
Dolin said in an earlier interview he was traveling across the state working on a memoir called "Kindness in America."
A man from Charleston set out on a road trip across the country to meet strangers and write a book called, "The Kindness Of America" but his trip took an ironic twist. On Ray Dolin's journey to find the good in Americans, he was shot by a total stranger.
Police say the military veteran was hitchhiking in Northern Montana when he was shot.
"He thought he was was going to get a ride," Valley County, Montana Sheriff Glen Meier says. "The individual apparently pulled up a firearm and shot him, he saw the firearm come up and he started to back away."
After shooting Dolin in the shoulder, police say the alleged driver and shooter, 52-year-old Christopher Danielson, took off. They eventually caught up with him about 4 hours later. Danielson has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence. As for why he allegedly shot the 39-year-old, police believe there wasn't a reason and it was a random shooting.
"I was like oh my gosh, this is just insane," Jennifer Thornton say. She's one of Dolin's friends. She describes Dolin as a "gentle soul" who would help anyone.
"Always has a kind word for everybody," Thornton says. "If you needed something, he would give you his last dollar if that helped you instead of keeping it for himself."
Thornton says the cross-country trip is something Dolin has been wanting to do for a while.
When asked if Thornton thought Dolin would give up on his mission to find kindness, she said she thinks Dolin will continue the journey saying, "He's going to continue to look for the good that's out there."
Police say Dolin is doing better and is expected to make a full recovery. Danielson appeared in court on Monday and was taken back to Valley County, Montana where the shooting occurred.
Officials say a West Virginia man who is hitchhiking across the country and writing a memoir called "The Kindness of America," was injured in a random, drive-by shooting in northeastern Montana.
Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier said 39-year-old Raymond Dolin was sitting on the side of U.S. Highway 2 west of Glasgow waiting for a ride at about 6 p.m. Saturday when a man drove up, shot him and drove off.
Dolin flagged down a passer-by and was taken to the hospital in Glasgow.
The suspected shooter -- 52-year-old Charles Lloyd Danielson III -- was arrested in Culbertson, about 100 miles east of Glasgow, about four hours later.
Meier says Danielson was jailed on suspicion of felony assault with a weapon and driving under the influence.
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