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Dennis Ryan of Janesville supplied this photo of the bullet hole in the tailgate of his pickup truck. The damage occurred on Madison’s West Beltline Highway on Friday morning.

A Janesville man driving his son to an appointment Friday morning got caught in a gun battle between two other vehicles on Madison’s crowded West Beltline Highway.

Dennis Ryan was taking his teenage son to gymnastics practice, as he does four or five times a week, he said.

Ryan saw only one of the vehicles, a white car, which cut him off and then cut off other cars as it sped through slow-moving traffic near Rimrock Road, he said.

In a news release, police said witnesses saw someone in a dark-colored Dodge Durango firing from a sunroof at a white Chevrolet Malibu on the West Beltline Highway during the morning rush hour, around 7:51 a.m.

Ryan said the car was traveling on the shoulder at one point, and it started to exit but then cut back onto the highway, and that’s when Ryan and his son heard loud noises.

Ryan thought it was tires blowing out. His son thought the car hit a guardrail.

Later, Ryan heard a news report about the gun battle. But he didn’t notice the bullet hole in the tailgate of his pickup truck until he stopped hours later in Cottage Grove, when he noticed his backup camera wasn’t working.

The bullet apparently damaged the wiring.

Ryan reported the damage to Madison police, and police took photos and measurements and tried to retrieve the bullet or bullet fragments, but were unsuccessful, he said.

The two cars involved in the gun battle were later found abandoned, police reported.

Ryan was upset about the incident.

“They’re still working on tracking them down, and I’m hoping they catch them,” he said.

“We were in the wrong spot at the wrong time,” he added.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

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