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'I love this job': TriMet driver returns to work after getting hit by stray bullet 8 months ago

Dale Tozier was hit by a stray bullet in his collar bone while driving a TriMet bus last May. He returned to work in December after a six-month recovery.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A TriMet bus driver who was hit in the collar bone by a stray bullet last May has returned to work. Dale Tozier started working against in December after a six-month recovery.

The shooting happened May 22, 2021 on Northeast 102nd Avenue and Halsey Street while Tozier was working the final hour of his shift.

Tozier said he's been driving for TriMet for 13 years. He said he just wanted to get back to work.

"From the moment I was shot, that was my hope, that I would be able to come back to work," Tozier said. "I wanted to get back to work as soon as possible."

Tozier said he had a long and painful recovery.

"The whole shoulder on the inside was basically re-growing," Tozier said. "I lost my muscle memory in the left arm. If I throw something now, it goes off into space because all of the muscles are rearranged completely."

RELATED: TriMet bus driver shot while driving in Northeast Portland

Because Tozier was shot on the job, he qualified for workers' compensation. He said all his medical bills were covered and he received regular paychecks. He said he feels fortunate. He knows if the bullet had struck a couple inches in a different direction, the outcome may have been different.

"I love this job," Tozier said. "I'm glad to be back at it, it's been very rewarding for me. I'm glad it didn't end that day."

The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has yet to find a suspect in the shooting. In May 2021, PPB released photos of a Black Kia Soul as a vehicle of interest.

RELATED: Vehicle of interest sought in shooting that wounded TriMet bus driver; reward offered

Credit: Portland Police

TriMet is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of the shooter. Crime Stoppers of Oregon is also offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the shooter’s arrest.

Report a tip to Crime Stoppers here.

WATCH: TriMet driver talks about getting shot (June 15, 2021)

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