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Couple alleges car hit by bullet on highway

Gaston Gazette - 7/12/2019

A military veteran and his wife say they were driving on I-85 to a doctor appointment when a bullet suddenly ripped through the trunk of their month-old car in Gaston County.

The alleged incident happened shortly before 8 a.m.July 5 to Mount Holly couple Joe and Teresa Wood, who have been together 38 years.

Joe was driving as they headed to the medical appointment in Charlotte. After they turned from the Exit 26 ramp and headed onto north I-85 in Belmont, they claim to have heard a loud noise.

"I thought it was a vehicle backfiring," Joe Wood said. "And I looked, I didn't see anything."

They went on to the doctor. But when returning to their car following the appointment, they made a scary discovery on the trunk lid on the driver's side.

"My wife was walking around the back of the car to get in and she looked and she said 'what is that?' I looked and it was a bullet hole," said Joe Wood. "And it dawned on me that's what we heard that morning was a gunshot."

Around 11 a.m. they brought the vehicle, a 2017 Nissan Versa, to the Belmont Police station where officers investigated and filed an incident report. Police collected a single bullet from the trunk lid.

Belmont Police Lt. Jason Davis said that officers investigated the area but did not find any shell casing or evidence that the shot was fired there. Davis said there are no suspects at this time, and that the investigation is currently inactive pending any new evidence.

"There's nothing that would indicate that it actually happened there," Davis said.

The 62-year-old U.S. Army veteran, said he's never had anything like this happen in his life. The couple moved to Mount Holly from Charlotte in 2012. They both live with heart conditions, and Joe had recently been released from a week in the hospital.

He spoke to the gravity of the situation, and though no one was injured he reflected on what could have happened.

"If this would have been less than a half-a-second sooner it probably would have hit me in the driver's seat, and it could have caused a big major wreck right there on I-85," he said. "Luckily, nobody got hurt except for my car."

You can reach Eric Wildstein at 704-869-1828 or Twitter.com/TheGazetteEric.

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