Friday, November 01, 2002

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Coach struck by bullet near diving facility

MOULTRIE -- Moss Farms Diving coach Ron Piemonte was locking the gate at the Moose Moss Aquatic Center on Halloween night and preparing to go to church when he said something whacked him on the head.

"It felt like someone hit me on the top of the head with a hammer," he told The Observer.

It was not a hammer. It was initially identified as a .223 caliber bullet -- the same type of bullet used by a sniper who killed 10 people and wounded 13 others in the Washington, D.C., area earlier in the month.

Piemonte said he assumes someone fired a gun in the air and he happened to be in the very spot where the round came down. He said after the impact, he touched his hand to his head and it was bloody.

That powerful a round could possibly have been shot more than a mile away. Piemonte said he did not hear a shot.

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