Four guys in a 2004 Ford Expedition were cruising around before heading to a party Saturday night when a gunshot reverberated inside the vehicle, according to a police report.

Suddenly, the driver was “leaning over in pain from a gunshot wound” and the man sitting directly behind him had disappeared, police said. During interviews with police, the two other passengers said the handgun could have gone off by accident.

Police determined differently when they caught up to the alleged shooter several hours later. Joel Dontae Hicks, 19, was charged with aggravated assault. He is being held without bond in the Glynn County Detention Center, according to jail records.

The bullet pierced the victim’s back on the right side and exited slightly higher in front, Glynn County Police said. Glynn County Fire Department paramedics transported the victim to Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital with non-life threatening wounds, police said.

Police responded to a call of a gunshot wound at 8:36 p.m. Saturday and found the victim and two passengers standing outside the Expedition in front of a home on Turtle Creek Drive off Golden Isles Parkway, police said. The victim was leaning against one of the other men for support.

Neither passenger knew the alleged shooter, but both said the driver knew him, according to police. The front passenger said he thought the sudden noise was a firework at first, but then he saw the victim doubled over in pain, the report said. The guy in the back passenger seat said he heard a loud bang. At first he told the police he thought it was an accident.

Then a woman standing nearby intervened, asking him, “When you turned to look around, was the other guy gone?” The man nodded affirmatively, police said.

Police caught up to Hicks in the dark hours of the next morning, the report indicates. Police booked him into the county jail at 3:40 a.m., according to jail records. The police report offers no motive for the shooting.

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