PARKER, Colo. -- Parker police have arrested two suspects believed involved in what was initially thought to be a road rage shooting, but actually turned out to be random violence.
"That's a huge relief," said Rob Rowland, the victim. "I kept thinking back to what happened and couldn't remember anything that would have led to road rage."
Police say Abraham Paquet, 29, and Tara Doxtater, 25, were in a car that exited E-470 onto South Parker Road, on May 22.
Paquet allegedly fired three shots into Rowland's pickup, while the victim was starting to proceed through the green light, at the intersection.
"We're not exactly sure what led them to choose this victim," said Parker PD spokesman Josh Hans. "Anytime you have a shooting, whether it's intentional, accidental, or like this - a random act of violence, it's scary."
One of the three bullets struck Rowland in his left hand.
"I didn't know what had happened," he said, "I was shocked."
At first, Rowland thought his e-cigarette had exploded.
His left hand started bleeding profusely, so he wrapped it in a shirt and drove across South Parker Road to Parker Adventist Hospital.
It was only when police asked him about three bullet holes in his pickup that he realized he'd been shot.
Parker police said Paquet is being held for investigation of attempted first-degree murder, first degree assault with a deadly weapon, first degree assault with extreme indifference, illegal discharge of a firearm and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.
Police are recommending "accessory" charges against Doxtater, who they say was in the vehicle with Paquet. Both Doxtater and Paquet are in police custody.
Police say the suspects pulled up alongside Rowland's truck during the evening rush hour on May 22 and fired into the vehicle, hitting the driver once.
Victim was on way home from work
Rowland was on his way home from work when he hard a loud pop and felt a searing pain in his left hand. He'd been holding his e-cigarette in that hand.
"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."
Police say surveillance video from the E-470 toll highway and from nearby businesses helped them identify the suspects.
"Much like the rest of Parker, we're incredibly relieved to know we have these people and they're off the street," Hans said, "and we're incredibly grateful to our detectives and investigators."
When asked their reaction upon learning that the shooting appears to have been random, Hans replied, "There was an individual who was willing to shoot someone else in broad daylight and drive off. That's very scary for the community, regardless of the motive."
Rowland said he kept going over and over how things played out and couldn't recall doing anything that would have angered another driver.
He said he's grateful to know that it wasn't road rage, but added, "it's horrifying" to know that someone just randomly targeted him with a gun.
He said all the pins have been taken out of his hand and that he is now focusing on physical therapy.
He said his doctor doesn't know if he'll be able to "make a fist" with his left hand, but said he's going to work hard at getting as much movement and strength back as he possibly can.