Police looking for passing car that fired shotgun at BIA worker

Great Falls, Montana (AP) August 2010

A Bureau of Indian Affairs worker who was driving along a highway in Blaine County says a person in a car heading in the opposite direction fired a shotgun at his pickup.

Ralph Page, a BIA rangeland management specialist from Chinook, was not injured but the blast shattered the driver’s side window. If the window had been rolled down, he likely would have been shot in the head.

“It would have killed me, but I think that glass is just tempered enough,” he said.

Page, 57, said he was driving along U.S. Highway 2 just after noon on Aug. 18, headed toward Harlem to pick up a load of hay. The blast came from a gray car headed east just near the Milk River Bridge.

Page did not get the license plate number and did not know how many occupants were in the car, Blaine County Undersheriff Pat Pyette said Thursday.

“I’ve been here nine years and this is the first time that anything like that has happened,” Pyette said.

Pyette said his department was investigating the shooting.

Page doesn’t know whether the attack was random or if someone was targeting him. He said he’s tried not to let himself think about how close he came to being injured or worse.

“Life’s a little different up here,” he said. “I mean I’ve had a few fights, over there at my job, but nothing more than that.”

And while he said he didn’t get too worked up over the incident, Page’s wife and five children – ages 27 to 35 – were upset.

“She wasn’t happy,” Page said.