Last week, Ray Dolin of Julian, West Virginia was shot in the arm while preparing a meal on the side of Highway 2 in Montana. Dolin, who had been hitchhiking across the country as he works on a book called The Kindness of America, told police that a man in a maroon pickup slowed to a stop in front of him and, for no discernible reason, shot him in the arm before driving off. Dolin was sent to a local hospital to recover, and an arrest was made in connection with the case, but charges were dropped this week when an unexpected revelation came to the fore: Dolin had shot himself. Police believe, and Dolin has now admitted, that the 39 year-old photographer and owner of OneShot Impressions studio, deliberately injured himself in a desperate attempt at self-promotion. (Desperate and effective, since you’re reading this.)
Nevertheless, the subject he set out to document may yet be alive and well in America; “Whether it was self-inflicted or somebody else did it, he needed help,” said Sherry Alveson, a Montana native who picked up the total stranger from the side of the road and drove him to the hospital.