BILLINGS, Mont. — A West Virginia man who told authorities he was hitchhiking across the country and writing a memoir about kindness was injured in a seemingly random drive-by shooting near Montana's booming Bakken oil patch.
Ray Dolin, 39, was shot in the arm as he approached a pickup Saturday evening, thinking the driver was offering him a ride, said Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier.
The freelance photographer, who runs a business called OneShot Impressions, was injured about 3 miles west of the town of Glasgow, along rural U.S. Highway 2, a major route into and out of the oil patch.
A 52-year-old man from Washington state, Lloyd Christopher Danielson III, was arrested about four hours later near Culbertson. Authorities said Danielson was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They released no motive in the shooting.
"He was sitting down to have a little lunch and this guy drives up. 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," Meier said.
Danielson was apparently headed to Williston, N.D., for work tied to the oil boom, although Meier said he has offered few details. Danielson's brother, Tim Danielson, said he left home weeks ago, heading to the Bakken for work. He declined to comment further.
Meier did not know if any words were exchanged between the alleged shooter and victim before Dolin was shot. He said they did not know one another.
Dolin was being treated at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow. A nurse said Monday he was not taking calls or accepting messages.
Dolin had told sheriff's officials that he was writing a memoir titled "Kindness in America."