Corona dirt bike rider struck by bullet, possibly from nearby shooting range

CORONA, Calif. (KABC) -- Corona man Reid Stadelman is counting his blessings five days after he was shot with a .308 bullet.

"I just feel blessed. That is what kept going through my mind, this could have been a lot worse," said Stadelman.

On Sunday, the 37-year-old Corona man was out dirt bike riding with his daughter off Hodge Road just outside of Barstow. He said the two had wrapped up around noon and were getting ready to head home when it happened.

"I was maybe 2 feet behind my trailer ready to open the doors and then my shoulder starting hurting. If felt like someone hit me with a hammer," he said. "There was nobody around me. I thought something fell from the sky. I had no idea how or what was going on."

Stadelman said his daughter was the first to notice blood on his shirt. They flagged down another rider to help load up their bikes, and they drove to the hospital where he tried to explain what might have happened.

"I said, 'Well, I think I got shot. She said, 'How do you not know you got shot,'" recalled Stadelman. "I said, 'Well there was nobody there, my shoulder really hurts, and a police officer happened to be there. He opened up my shirt and said that is a gunshot you need to get in right away."

An X-ray revealed the bullet had lodged in his upper shoulder.

"If it was a couple inches higher or a couple inches to the left or right. It would be a different story," he said.

But he is especially grateful the bullet hit him where it did.

"To be honest, I was just very thankful that my daughter wasn't hit. She was walking behind me when I got hit," Stadelman said.

Stadelman believes he was shot by accident with a bullet that traveled from across the freeway where a shooting range is located.

"The only thing I can think is somebody wasn't paying attention and was shooting up into the air instead at something. I really don't know how they could have made that mistake," he said.

An investigator with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Barstow Station went to the location, and they believe the bullet was a stray.

Stadelman said he came forward with his story to caution dirt bike riders and shooting range visitors to be aware of each other. He also shared because of a family friend who lost her father after he was shot and killed while dirt bike riding more than a decade ago.

He said despite the close call he will continue to go dirt riding.

"I think I will try to stay further away from where people are able to shoot their guns," he added.
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