Nov 9, 2008
Wrong Place, Wrong Time for Race FanBy JR Nerad
Jimmy Johnson wasn’t the only one who had a bad day at Texas Motor Speedway a week ago. Johnson saw his lead in the Chase cut in half, but that doesn’t hold a candle to what 62-year-old Jill King Moss experienced. She was minding her own business, sitting in a motor home in the infield, when a bullet crashed through the roof of the parked vehicle and wounded her in the arm.
“She immediately screamed, ‘I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot.’ She took off running out the door,” her son-in-law, Bobby Cook, told a reporter from Dallas/Fort Worth television station KTVT. She was taken to Harris Methodist Hospital with what was described as a significant wound, but she is expected to recover, although we wonder if she will ever attend a NASCAR race again. Getting a cold hot dog and a warm beer is expected at a race track, but being shot with a .50 caliber rifle round, equivalent to something that might have been fired from a World War II-vintage machine gun, is a bit more unexpected.
Amazingly, the gunfire appears not to have come from inside the racing facility. A day after the incident, a 49-year-old Benbrook, Texas, resident named Kennith Jaramillo contacted Fort Worth police, saying he might have been responsible for the errant round. Jaramillo told police he was target-shooting on the morning in question at a site about five miles from Texas Motor Speedway about the same time Moss was struck by the bullet. He says he fired about half a dozen of rounds at a hillock in the vicinity, so it is hard to imagine how one of the bullets from his Vulcan .50 caliber single-shot rifle could have wound up penetrating the roof of Moss’s motor home, not to mention penetrating her arm from a distance of five miles, unless somebody is prevaricating a bit. In any case, though honesty is the best policy, Jaramillo might regret coming forward. Detectives said that if ballistics tests link the bullet that hit Moss with Jaramillo’s rifle, he could be charged with deadly conduct for recklessly firing a weapon.
Texas Motor Speedway spokesperson Mike Zizzo estimated there were about 40,000 fans in about 10,000 to 10,500 recreational vehicles camped at Texas Motor Speedway for the weekend of NASCAR racing events. Moss was the only one shot during the weekend, so that’s a plus. At this writing, Jaramillo has not been arrested or charged.
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