BILLINGS, Mont. -- A West Virginia man who told authorities he was hitchhiking across the country and writing a memoir about kindness was injured in a seemingly random drive-by shooting near Montana's booming Bakken oil patch.
Ray Dolin, 39, was shot in the arm as he approached a pickup Saturday evening thinking the driver was offering him a ride, said Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier.
The shooting took place about three miles west of the town of Glasgow, along rural U.S. 2, a major route into and out of the oil patch.
A Washington state man, Lloyd Christopher Danielson III, 52, was arrested about four hours later near Culbertson. Authorities say the suspect was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They released no motive in the shooting.
"He was sitting down to have a little lunch and this guy drives up. He thought he was going to give him a ride and as he approached the vehicle, the guy pulls out his weapon and shoots him. It's as simple as that," Meier said.
Danielson was apparently headed to Williston, N.D., for work tied to the oil boom, although Meier said he offered few details. Danielson's brother, Tim Danielson, said he left home weeks ago, heading to the Bakken for work. He did not comment further.
Dolin was being treated at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow. A nurse said Monday he was not taking calls or accepting messages.
Dolin told sheriff's officials that he was writing a memoir titled "Kindness in America." His father, Melvin Dolin, declined to speak about his son's plans, saying he had been working on his photography.
"I'd rather you eventually get that story from him. He had some ideas about that," he said.
His son had left home in Julian, W.Va., last week bound for Washington state, said Melvin Dolin. He took a bus to the edge of Montana and intended to work his way to Washington from there, the father said.
"He was on the way across the country taking pictures," Melvin Dolin said, adding that his son's travel plans had been flexible. "He was going to make up his mind as he traveled along. But he didn't get that far."
Ray Dolin's Facebook page lists his occupation as freelance photographer with OneShot Impressions. Dolin's biography on the business's website lists his passions as travel and photography.
"I believe that travel broadens one's view of the world," he wrote in the "about me" section of the website. "Experiencing other cultures, meeting people from other communities, other countries, and seeing the beauty of the world has helped me understand that all of our lives are both interconnected and individual."