U.S. 35 shots fired: How to stay safe while driving through gunfire

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 5:24 PM

People in their cars were rushing to get out of the line of fire Monday after someone started shooting at U.S. 35 and Liscum Drive.

One witness told News Center 7 that it looked like a scene from a movie.

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Dayton police confirmed that they have a person of interest in the case and that they’re working to take them into custody.

Witnesses on the scene described doing everything from pulling to the side of the highway to speeding away from a red light to get away from the bullets.

News Center 7 spoke to an in-house expert about what to do if you find yourself in the middle of a shooting while in a vehicle.

Before Mark Bowron was our traffic guru on News Center 7 Daybreak and 1290 and 95.7 WHIO, he was a Dayton police officer.

“I was a detective for about eight years and then I retired as a sergeant,” said Bowron.

During his years on the force, he saw shootings similar to the one on U.S. 35, but said gunfire during the afternoon rush was “unusual.”

“I don’t remember one exactly like that, but yeah, I saw quite a few cars exchanging gunfire,” Bowron said. “That’s unfortunately not that uncommon.”

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At least three cars were hit by bullets Monday.

A video sent to News Center 7 shows what witnesses described as a man hanging out the back window of a silver car shooting at a blue car that he seemed to be targeting.

“Then the volley came and it was just boon, boom, boom and I could hear them ricocheting and all that,” said Ricky Schoonover of Kettering.

He sped away and found bullet holes in his car when he got home.

“Light was still red and I just felt like flee; get out of here,” he said. “Because I had no idea what was going on at that point. So I took off, noticed a couple cars parked on the side of the road and I looked at them but I just took off. Felt like I needed to get home to a safe place.”

Bowron said that every situation is different, but that Schoonover did the right thing by putting as much distance between himself and the threat.

“Sometimes that’s tough to do when  you’re in traffic like that, but if you just keep in mind I’ve got to get out of the shooter’s range of view,” he said. “Getting out of the line of fire, that’s goal number one.”

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Once you’re in a safe place Bowron said to try and be a “good witness” and call police. Give them any details you noticed that could help them identify and, in this case, catch the shooter.