'God is what saved me:' Stray bullet shears off strands of driver's hair, pinning them to headrest

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A bullet narrowly missed a driver and her son as a gunman opened fire in a Sacramento-area neighborhood Tuesday night, July 9.

Sam Avila and her 3-year-old son, Logan, were driving along Greenback Lane in the area of Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights when a gunman started shooting toward businesses.

“That's when I heard like, 'Pop, pop, pop,' and then, just, my windshield exploded,” Avila told KTXL.

Avila parked her vehicle and immediately looked down to see if she was hit. She wasn't.

"My second reaction was to turn my head and check on my son,” she said. "I didn't know what I was going to look back at, because he was sitting directly behind me.”

Her toddler was a bit stunned, but alright, and concerned about his mother.

“He was fine,” Avila explained. “He is such a champion. He was even telling me, ‘Relax Mommy.’”

It's when she turned back to see her son that she took notice of just how close a bullet got to hitting her in the head.

“I noticed hair, like, sticking out of my seat," she said. “And I seen the bullet hole."

The bullet narrowly missed her head, but ripped some hair from her scalp, pinning it to her headrest.

Suddenly, she felt the pain on her arm and forehead from the shards of glass that hit her.

"It still burns. It's actually right here, and it's warm to the touch," Avila said.

Police were investigating the gunman's motive, and said they were familiar with him from a previous incident.

As for Avila, she said she was just grateful, knowing the outcome could have been very different.

“I feel like God is what saved me," she said. "I don't know how it missed (my son), but thank God it did.”