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Trucker acted to stop mass shooter targeting truck drivers at Iowa rest area, truck stop


A trucker under fire used his truck to help put a stop to a shooter who was targeting truck drivers at an Iowa I-80 rest stop and a Pilot truck stop in Atalissa earlier this month.

On the afternoon of January 11, the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office began receiving reports of shots fired at a rest area off of I-80 in Lime City, Iowa in addition to reports of shots being fired from a black Volkswagen at the Pilot truck stop in Atalissa.

The shooter, who would later be identified as 60 year old Charles S. Johnston, was targeting truck drivers first at the rest area and then at the Pilot truck stop.

Trucker Taking Fire Uses Big Rig To Pin Suspect’s Car

Trucker acted to stop mass shooter targeting truck drivers at Iowa rest area, truck stop

A truck driver who was under fire from Johnston at the truck stop took action to stop him.

According to the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office, a truck driver was pulling out of the Pilot  onto Atalissa Road at the same time that Johnston was pulling in. Johnston fired several shots out of the the driver’s side window at the truck driver.

After the shots were fired, the truck driver saw Johnston maneuver behind his truck on the passenger side. Police say that the truck driver then swerved and hit the Volkswagen, leaving the car partially wedged under his trailer.

After being struck by the semi truck, Johnston continued to shoot into the truck’s passenger side door.

An Iowa State trooper soon arrived on the scene. Johnston opened fire on the trooper but only hit his patrol car. Officers returned fire. After a standoff with state and local law enforcement, Johnston finally surrendered and was taken into police custody.

No one was injured during the shooting incident.

Shooter Admits To Targeting Truck Drivers

After his arrest, Johnston told police that he was “enraged or obsessed over a family [member] that was killed in an accident with a semi and that the motive behind his actions was to harm a truck driver or truck drivers in retaliation.”

Police found marijuana, pills, and drug paraphernalia in Johnston’s Volkswagen.

Johnston faces felony charges of attempted murder and assault on a peace officer. He is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond.

Johnston is an Illinois resident and professor of psychology at Harper College in Palatine.


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