Ray Dolin, the man who was writing a book called Kindness of America when he said he was shot in a drive-by, confessed to sheriffs that he had shot himself, authorities said on Friday.
Dolin, 39, originally told Valley County Sheriffs that he was shot in the arm as he approached a pickup truck. He believed that the driver was offering him a ride, reported the Associated Press. The shooting took place on State Highway 2 about three miles west of Glasgow, near the Bakken oil shale region.
After he was shot, he flagged down another driver, who drove him to Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital.
He was sitting down to have a little lunch, and this guy drives up, said Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier, according to Billings Gazette. He thought he was going to give him a ride, and, as he approached the vehicle, the guy pulls out his weapon and shoots him. It's as simple as that.
Police said there does not appear any motive for the shooting. Police officials were able to track down the pickup truck and arrest the 52-year-old driving the vehicle, Charles Lloyd Danielson III of Washington state, reported Death and Taxes.
However, as authorities continued to investigate the incident, the discovered that Dolin had in fact shot himself as a way to self-promote his book, a fact he acknowledged on Thursday night, reported the Associated Press.
Sheriff Meier said that his office has ...unequivocally proven Danielson had no association with the shooting, reported KRTV.
Charges have not been filed against Dolin, but the sheriff's office said the case remains open.
The assault charges against Danielson were dropped. However, he remains in prison pending drunk driving charges. Police said when they picked him up he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Dolin told the Associated Press that he did not want to comment on the investigation or his confession.
However, he maintained that he had Danielson had shot him.
He came up, pulls up at a normal speed, stops, points, shoots and drives off. ... I did not get a good description, Dolin said.
The passerby who stopped to help Dolin, Sherry Alveson, said she saw him waving his jacket to flag down a vehicle.
He had blood down his arms, all over his clothes and he was bleeding and shivering and shaky, Alveson said of her initial encounter with Dolin. I wasn't going to leave him sitting there.
However, she said that even if it turns out Dolin did in fact shoot himself to garner attention, she still would have offered assistance.
Whether it was self-inflicted or somebody else did it, he needed help, Alveson said.
Danielson was reportedly on his way to Williston, N.D. to work on an oil field.
At the time of the incident, Meier did say that lawmen reacted quickly after learning about the incident. Danielson was arrested four later by deputies in Roosevelt County, some 100 miles from where the shooting took place.
We're still the wonderful people in Montana we've always been, and we'll get through this, Meier said. Things are going to happen whether there's the Bakken or not.
Meier said he is still investigating the incident and did not if any words were exchanged between Dolin and Danielson.
Danielson has a long rap sheet and was caught fleeing to North Dakota. He is being charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon and DUI, KFBB reported.
During Danielson's appearance in court, Judge Traci Harada set bail at $50,000 on the felony assault charge and $685 for the DUI. Danieson declined to enter a plea, reported the AP.
Melvin Dolin, the victim's father, said his son was working with photography.
I'd rather you eventually get that story from him. He had some ideas about that, he said, the AP reported.
He also told the AP that his son left his home in Julian, W.Va., bound for Washington state. He took a bus to Montana, to hitch a few rides from there.
He was on the way across the country taking pictures, Melvin Dolin said, adding that his son's travel plans had been flexible. He was going to make up his mind as he travelled along. But he didn't get that far.