Man arrested for firing paintball gun in Powhatan and Chesterfield

Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 01, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-01 17:42:37-04

A Midlothian mother of five tells a harrowing story after a back to school shopping trip with her oldest son.
Driving home, a car pulls alongside her minivan and opens fire; the evidence left dripping down the door.

Two drivers: one in Powhatan, one in Chesterfield

Police say 18 year old Zachary Dawson takes aim at both.

“It startled us, it scared us. We didn’t know if it was rocks or what.”

“I could’ve easily run into the median.”

Jennifer Ear was driving down Courthouse near Reams Road around ten Wednesday night when she hears a loud noise.

“I noticed a small silver car passing us at a high rate of speed and then cut us off. My son snapped a quick picture and got the license plate number.”

Police meet Ear at her Midlothian home where she files a report

12 hours later, Powhatan deputies receive a drive by call at Judes Ferry Road near Anderson Highway.
Deputies arrest Dawson in his car 5 minutes after the Powhatan shooting, then investigators start to compare notes. Deputies realize the cell phone picture Ear’s son shot the night before of the getaway car matches.

“I had paint splatter on the door, a big orange spot.”

If the paintballs were powerful enough to dent, paintballing enthusiasts say it means it could be from close range or a lower grade paintball.

Regardless, KPS Paintball owner Kelley Haase says criminal incidents involving paintball guns always stirs up a stereotype.

“Very damaging to our sport, someone shooting at people that don’t have gear and doing it in an unsafe environment.”
Powhatan deputies have charged Dawson with felony shooting a missle into an occupied vehicle-that carries up to five years in prison.
Chesterfield says in their case, charges are pending.