Woman says she was hit by shot from pellet gun while riding bicycle in Melbourne

Pellet nearly hit bone, X-ray shows

By Troy Campbell - Reporter

MELBOURNE, Fla. - A woman in Melbourne said she was hit by a shot from a pellet gun Sunday while riding her bike in Melbourne.

Melissa Sheppard said she was shot by the pellet on the Eau Gallie Causeway at about 4:30 p.m. while riding to pick up some groceries.

"I pulled over and I pulled up my pants leg and, sure enough, I had a hole in my leg," Sheppard said. "I know what paint gun sounds like, and it sounded like that, and I heard that and felt the pain in my leg."

Sheppard said the shot came from a vehicle, and she got a look at the people inside the vehicle as it drove away.

"They did, kind of like, as they drove away, I saw the foreheads and saw some hands," Sheppard said. "They were, like, high-fiving or something. I was really kind of angry."

Sheppard showed News 6 an X-ray that shows how close the pellet came to her bone.

"At that point, it just scared me. I couldn't believe that somebody would do that," she said. "To just think they are funny and shoot someone -- they have no idea the impact it's going to have on my life."

Sheppard said the route she took on Sunday is the same path she's taken on
her bicycle for the past seven years. As a competitive athlete, she said, she's determined to heal from her injury and get back to riding.

"It's just really sad, because I'm a huge triathlete. I love to run. I love to bike," Sheppard said. "Will I get on a bike again? Absolutely. I'm not going to let these people scare me away from my bike."

Sheppard said she will meet with her doctor on Tuesday to determine if they will remove the pellet from her leg.

She said she is hopeful that Melbourne police can use surveillance video or traffic cameras to locate the vehicle and the suspects.

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