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Trucker faces murder charge in New Jersey truck stop shooting that left a fellow driver dead


Police have released new information about a truck stop dispute that led to a fatal shooting in New Jersey over the weekend.

New Jersey State Police responded to 911 calls about a shooting at a Pilot Travel Center in Union Township at 12:37 p.m. on January 23.

When troopers arrived on scene, they found Florida-based truck driver Ricardo Menezes De Castro, 43, inside the store suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

De Castro was taken to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

One of the 911 calls came from 44 year old California-based truck driver David Rodriguez, who called police shortly after the shooting to report that he had opened fire after De Castro allegedly spit on him and threatened him in the truck stop parking lot.

Rodriguez told the dispatcher that he was sitting inside his truck and that he had removed the ammunition from his hand gun.

Troopers located Rodriguez inside the truck and located his firearm in plain view in the sleeper berth of his truck.

Rodriguez was taken into custody with out incident and booked in the Warren County Jail.

He was issued multiple charges, including murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes. Police say that Rodriguez did not have a permit for his firearm.

A witness reported seeing De Castro walk back and forth in the parking lot between his own parked truck and Rodriguez’s parked truck several times prior to the shooting, mycentraljersey.com reports.

The two truck drivers did not know one another prior to meeting at the truck stop. It isn’t clear what triggered the altercation between the two men.

The investigation into the shooting continues. Anyone with information is asked to call New Jersey State Police Perryville Station at 908-730-7042.


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