BILLINGS, Mont. -- A West Virginia man who claimed to be a victim of a drive-by shooting along a rural Montana highway while working on a memoir called "Kindness in America" has confessed to shooting himself, authorities said Friday.
Ray Dolin, 39, of Julian, made the acknowledgement Thursday night, said Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier. Authorities believe Dolin, who is recovering at a Miles City hospital, shot himself as a desperate act of self-promotion but offered no further details.
The case remains under investigation and charges against Dolin are possible, but none had been filed by Friday evening, Undersheriff Vernon Buerkle said.
Dolin claimed he was hitchhiking along U.S. Highway 2 west of Glasgow on June 9 when the driver of a maroon pickup pulled to a stop and shot him in the upper arm with no provocation.
Authorities later arrested Lloyd Christopher Danielson III, 52, and charged him with felony assault. That charge was dropped Thursday, although Danielson remained in custody for allegedly being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he was pulled over.
Dolin runs a photography business called OneShot Impressions, which has as its logo the cross hairs of a rifle scope.
He could not be reached for comment Friday.
His father, Melvin Ray Dolin, 79, of Julian, said by phone Friday, "I'm not in a good position to talk about Ray right now."
He said he wasn't sure of his son's condition and said, "I'm still in West Virginia and he's in Montana," before hanging up.
Ray Dolin said in an interview Thursday before his alleged confession that he recently had taken a bus from West Virginia to Sidney and then began traveling across the state working on his memoir about people's kindness.
Asked about the release of Danielson, Dolin said then that he was reluctant to comment because of the ongoing investigation.