Bullet Grazes Drivers' Head During Shooting - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Bullet Grazes Drivers' Head During Shooting

Posted: Updated:

By: Claire Powell
cpowell@myabc5.com
@clairenpowell 

 

Yesterday afternoon, Larry Chiles dropped his granddaughter off at Lincoln High School for cheerleading practice.

When he was leaving, he thought he heard someone shooting off fireworks. Little did he know that nearby gunman, Steven Vogel, was firing off consecutive rounds from a high power firearm.

When he turned a corner near Southwest 9th Street, he saw Vogel.

"All of the sudden I see a man in the driveway. He kneels down with a weapon and starts firing at me," said Chiles.

Chiles tried to accelerate to get away, but said he couldn't move quickly enough.

"I knew I was in trouble. I thought he'd get me in the head, he wasn't that far away," said Chiles. He said Vogel couldn't have been more than 35 yards away from his car.

The first two shots hit the front of his car and the side window.

"I went up like this and I'm bleeding, but I'm still going. It felt like I was bleeding with every heartbeat, so I was trying to put pressure on it," said Chiles.

The third hit his back door handle and the fourth is still lodged in his trunk. When Chiles saw his car again, he knew which bullet had grazed the back of his skull.  

"I still think this is the one that got me," Chiles said, pointing to the bullet hole in the side window. "I had to be right by him. We thought the angle got me, but this one, he shot straight."

Amazingly, Chiles drove away and realized a south side clinic was nearby.

"I knew I could get there quicker than if I stopped and called an ambulance," said Chiles.

He called his two daughters, Hollie and Victoria, and told them he had been shot and to come to Methodist Hospital.

"The paramedics told me he'd be OK, but you just never know," said Hollie Brophy, his daughter.

Chiles' head didn't need staples or stitches, just a small bandage and time to heal.

"It makes me feel awful blessed because there's a very good chance that I wouldn't be here today," said Chiles. "How very precious life is, in the very busy schedule of today, we forget."

Chiles was released this afternoon from Methodist Hospital and said he hopes to return to work soon. 

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