I can't see this being a bug, are you sure it didnt ram you and lose health or something?
If it was a bug it would have come up before now and not just this mission. Something that suddenly kills objects on the map, anything is possible I suppose and if it had nothing to do with a collision or firing on the ship then maybe it's recent server updates etc
Everything will c-store eventually and theres also a lot more cool items coming in Season 3 so if I were you I would get ready to discover them.
I had fun with the whole ramming bit actually. When i did it i'd disabled his ship at the very start before anything else, when he said he was going to ram me i focused on his ship and from what i could tell it didn't move at all. i remember thinking "Might wanna try fixing your impulse engines first, dumbarse."