Tim Dooley of North Austin, Texas, was getting a little yard work in last Friday afternoon when, to his understandable surprise, his neighbor shot him in the leg.
The shooting wasn’t the result of a neighborhood feud or anything of that nature. Dooley had never met the man who fired several rounds from an SKS semi-automatic rifle into his property, one of them striking him in the calf.
"I'd just actually dug the holes for the base of a shed, and I was going to pour some cement in," Dooley, 38, told KXAN TV. "I heard three or four gunshots. I thought they were fireworks at the time. Really scared the heck out of me."
He looked up and saw his neighbor, whom Dooley says he had never even seen before much less met before, firing at him.
“I said, 'What the heck are you doing?’” Dooley (pictured) recounted. “I looked down about that same time and saw all the blood on my shoe and realized I'd been shot. I then high-tailed it and just got out of there as quick as I could."
The neighbor was identfied as Jamarl Tyler, 44. As he was shooting, Tyler’s wife rushed to restrain him, putting her husband in a bear hug. But he was too strong for her. So she retreated inside the house and waited for police.
When the police showed up, Tyler leveled the Soviet-made carbine at them and refused to put it down. So they shot him.
Tyler was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
Dooley says he has no clue why his neighbor targeted him, but the answer may lie in his wife’s account, given to police and relayed to KXAN through the arrest report. Tyler, she said, though “generally fine” was given to severe episodes of paranoia and depression.
He was experiencing an especially bad one that day. He did not sleep the previous night and complained for much of the following day that some sort of conspiracy “existed against him.” He called his wife repeatedly at work to express his fears.
She became so concerned that she left her work early to care for him. She thought she had put him in bed for a nap, but next think she knew, she heard gunshots and Tyler came back inside to tell her that he “shot somebody.”
How an individual who suffers from severe paranoid delusions was able to obtain a semi-automatic rifle has not been addressed.