Police are investigating whether the gun was used in a shooting earlier in the day at Harry Todd Park in Lakewood's Tillicum neighborhood. No one was injured in the shooting.

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A man who stopped for gas on his drive home from work Wednesday evening discovered a black handgun lodged in the front bumper of his car and called the Washington State Patrol.

“It’s just crazy. It’s a complete fluke it could happen,” Trooper Guy Gill said of the incident.

The Patrol turned the gun over to Lakewood Police and detectives are investigating whether the gun — which was missing its magazine — was involved in a shooting at a park about an hour earlier, said Lt. Chris Lawler. No one was injured.

In his years as a trooper, Gill said he has seen vehicles hit by all kinds of debris on the freeway — bolts, tires, rocks, bits of steel — but never a firearm.

The man regularly commutes between his job in Pierce County and his home in the Olympia area, said Gill, who didn’t want to provide too many details of the man’s identity to protect his privacy.

The man isn’t exactly sure where it happened, but told troopers he was driving south on Interstate 5 near Lakewood when he saw “a small black object in the air,” then heard a noise as the object struck his car, Gill said. Since the impact didn’t seem to affect the vehicle’s performance, the man drove south for another 18 miles before pulling over to get gas, according to Gill.

At the gas station, the man circled his car looking for damage — and saw the handgun, lodged barrel first, in his front bumper, Gill said.

“What are the odds of that even happening?” Gill asked, marveling that the gun not only hit the bumper the way it did but also remained embedded for nearly 20 miles at freeway speeds. “It’s so unreal. Unless you see the photos … you don’t understand how unlikely it is.”

Lawler, of the Lakewood Police Department, said officers were called to Harry Todd Park, on American Lake in Lakewood’s Tillicum neighborhood, around 5 p.m. Witnesses reported a large group of people were involved in a fight when suddenly “guns were pulled and shots were fired,” Lawler said.

“It was at a crowded park on a hot day and no one was hit. Super lucky,” he said.

There were at least two shooters and as soon as shots rang out, “everybody scattered,” said Lawler.

Police arrested one man who  didn’t have a firearm on him, Lawler said. Everyone else — including a number of people who sped off in vehicles — got away, he said.

“Obviously we’re going to be investigating the weapon to see if it’s related to our shooting,” Lawler said of the gun found lodged in the commuter’s bumper.

Lawler said he could only guess that the firearm “was either tossed from a moving vehicle or off an overpass” and that the magazine fell out as the gun  tumbled across the freeway.