Donna Correll and her husband, Dane, were driving the same newspaper route at the same time they usually do outside Lapwai when they heard something that sounded like a firecracker.
Dane was asking his wife what the sound was when the passenger-side window shattered, peppering Donna with glass as she sat folding newspapers in the back seat. Once they realized someone was shooting at them, Dane drove away from a residence on the 21000 block of Lapwai Road back into town to contact Nez Perce police. Donna dropped to the floorboard and couldn’t see where the shot originated from since it was dark and there was no moonlight to illuminate the canyon they were in.
“At first, we thought it was a rock that rolled and hit beneath the car,” Donna said.
She said Monday afternoon that bullets had entered the front windshield and passenger window while they were delivering papers at about 3:25 a.m., and a third shot was later discovered when the couple drove to the police department. One bullet was lodged in the front windshield and a third had entered the hood of the vehicle and bounced around the interior, hitting a radiator hose. Donna didn’t know the full extent of damage to her vehicle, as it was impounded by law enforcement as evidence.
“I haven’t quit shaking yet. My body just trembles,” she said. “Afterward you feel real alive but then you’re just exhausted.”
A Nez Perce officer confirmed that a newspaper carrier’s vehicle was shot but declined to release additional details Monday. The FBI is assisting in the investigation.
Donna said she rides in the backseat while her husband drives since she doesn’t see well at night and she can put papers out on the right side of the street while he passes them out to the left side. They have been running the Lapwai route for about three months and had it down to a well-timed run, leaving town on Lapwai Road before 3:30 a.m.
She said she was shaken by the incident, and a Tribune district circulation manager helped complete the route despite the leftover papers being locked up in her impounded vehicle.
Donna thinks the shots came from a residence on Lapwai road about 3 miles west of Lapwai. Her husband had just put a paper into a delivery box and was backing out of a residence headed back toward Lapwai.
“We weren’t doing something we shouldn’t have been doing,” she said. “Whoever shot knew the car was moving. They deliberately shot at the car.”
Donna said she moves around the car frequently while delivering, and under different circumstances she could have been situated in the center of the car where the bullet entered her vehicle. She said god was “riding with us.”
“When you’ve got bullets flying at you you believe in god,” Donna said, joking that “everybody should try everything once in your life. Well, I’ve tried being shot at. Never again. Been there. No thanks.”
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