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A bullet left this hole in Kristen Burke's Honda Pilot. (Kristen Burke))

Bullet narrowly misses mom, kids driving on Route 101 near Sig Sauer


EPPING — Kristen Burke was stunned when she learned that the object that flew through her windshield while traveling on Route 101 with her two young children last week was a .45-caliber bullet.

“We’re very lucky,” said the 36-year-old Hampton mother.

Burke assumed it was a rock that pierced the windshield of her Honda Pilot around 2 p.m. on April 11, but workers for the glass repair company later found a bullet in the vehicle.

She immediately contacted New Hampshire State Police, who are now investigating. State Police Capt. Chris Vetter said there have been no other similar reports.

It appears the vehicle was hit on a stretch of Route 101 near Sig Sauer Academy, a firearms training facility on Route 27 in Epping. However, state police do not know if the bullet came from Sig Sauer Academy.

Sig Sauer issued a statement regarding the incident.

“The Sig Sauer Academy takes safety very seriously. We are confident that the findings of the New Hampshire State Police investigation will reassure everyone that our facilities present no danger to the public,” it said.

Burke said she was headed west on Route 101 between Exits 7 and 8 on her way to visit her grandmother in Laconia with her 11-month-old son and 3-year-old daughter in the vehicle when she heard a loud noise.

“I thought it was a rock that hit my car. It came so fast and shattered the glass on the inside. It was a big hole and I just thought, ‘It must have been (a rock),’” Burke said.

The object, which she now knows wasn’t a rock, came from the right side of the vehicle.

While she thought it was a rock, Burke said it seemed strange that a rock would have hit her vehicle because there were no other vehicles around her at the time.

Burke immediately pulled over and then called her insurance company to report the damage and later brought the vehicle to Safelight Auto Glass, where workers discovered the bullet.

“Right away I thought, ‘If that hit me and we got into an accident it would have been horrible.’ The first thought is your kids. That’s where your mind goes,” Burke said.

jschreiber@newstote.com