HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Justin Tate, a rideshare driver from New Kent County, spoke with 8News Wednesday about a harrowing experience he had while on his way to pick up passengers on New Year’s Eve in Henrico County.
The New Kent resident told 8News that his car was struck by a bullet that landed near his head after initially sharing the incident on social media.
“Trying to be as positive as possible as it is a new year but a bullet just landed in my car inches from my head in my center console,” Tate wrote on Facebook. “Please think about others before you pull your guns out tonight and start shooting in the air.”
Tate said he feels thankful to spend another New Year’s Day with his family after the bullet ripped through his car. He’s hugging his daughter Mila a little tighter afterwards.
“I got a lot to lose,” Tate told 8News. “It made me think was it worth it to be out there last night. My goal last night was to bring people home safe and I almost put myself at risk.”
Moments before midnight, Tate was driving on Interstate-64 near Nine Mile Road when he said a bullet smashed through his sunroof.
“All my emotions just set in then, because I realized I could’ve lost my life,” he explained.
Tate pulled over to call police as the rounds of gunfire continued. Officers who found the bullet inside Tate’s car said he was fortunate to not be hurt.
“It sounded like I was in a war zone,” he told 8News. “Luckily it hit the metal frame to the sunroof and that’s why it didn’t go all the way through.”
While he plans to continue as a Lyft driver, Tate said never again on New Year’s Eve.
“I’m not taking no more chances,” he explained.
Tate said he hopes his story makes others think twice before pulling the trigger to celebrate.
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