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Parker road rage shooting victim didn't realize he'd been hit by a bullet, thought e-cig exploded

Three bullets fired into Rob Rowland's pickup
Posted: 7:50 PM, Jun 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-22 21:50:45-04

PARKER, Colo. -- It was a day that Rob Rowland will never forget.

He was heading home from work, and had just exited E-470 at South Parker Road, when he heard a loud pop, and felt a searing pain in his left hand.

He thought his e-cigarette exploded and fell to the floor.

"I just knew my hand was in pain and was gushing blood," he told Denver7. "The first thing I did was try to stop the bleeding, so I wrapped it in my shirt."

Then he heard two more pops.

"I assumed it was the e-cigarette exploding, so I kept kicking it trying to stop, as I'm trying to merge to get to the hospital."

It was only after police arrived at the hospital and told him that his pickup truck had three bullet holes that he realized he had been shot.

There's one bullet hole on the driver's side door, just below the window, another on the windshield next to the driver's side dash and a third one on the lower driver's side fender behind the wheel well. 

Unnerving Feeling

The 31-year-old said he doesn't know what precipitated the shooting.

"The only thing I can think of," he said, "is that there was somebody trying to merge over and it was in my blind spot and I couldn't see them."

Rowland's mom, Donna Rowland, said it's unnerving knowing that the shooter is still out there.

"That it could happen in broad daylight, at a very busy intersection, tells me that this person has no boundaries, no guidelines, and that's very scary," she said.

Recovery

Rowland said he has an upcoming surgery scheduled to remove five pins from his left hand, which is still bandaged.

He faces a long recovery.

"The original prognosis was three months," he said, "They'll take out the pins and then I'll have eight more weeks of physical therapy, perhaps longer."

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay some of his medical expenses.

Emotions Rekindled

The Rowlands said they've been trying to put what happened behind them, but the fatal road rage shooting in Westminster rekindled some of their emotions.

"Realizing that someone lost their life, is hard," Rowland said. "Somebody minding their own business was shot."

"My daughter is a teacher," Donna Rowland said, "and knowing that a 13-year-old child won't be returning to school in the fall is difficult." 

Crime Stoppers Reward

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.

Police say the gunman fired from the passenger side of a grey, extended cab pickup.

If you have information about the shooting, or who may be responsible, call Crime Stoppers or Parker Police.