Man Arrested In Submachine-gun Killing Of Trucker

February 20, 1991|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff writer

A trucker who police say shot two men -- one fatally -- with an "Uzi-type" semiautomatic handgun has been ordered held on no bond at the Howard County Detention Center.

Tommy Ray Robinson, 41, of Fort Collins, Colo., was denied bail at a hearing before a District Court commissioner yesterday. The shootings occurred early yesterday morning during an argument at the Trucker's Inn in Jessup.

Police identified the dead man as Christopher Frye, 32, of Grass Lake, Mich.

Another victim, William Wilson, for whom police have no age or address, is listed in serious condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center at University Hospital in Baltimore.

Robinson was arrested within an hour of the shootings after his truck overturned on an Interstate 95 entrance ramp, said police spokesman Gary L. Gardner.

Police say Robinson began arguing with Frye and Wilson at the 18 Wheeler Lounge shortly before midnight Monday.

Robinson became upset when one of the men began talking to his girlfriend, who had been traveling with him for the past week, Gardner said.

After the verbal confrontation, Robinson left the bar and came back about an hour later carrying a gun and wearing a camouflage mask, court records said. Gardner described the weapon as a .22-caliber "hand-held Uzi-type" handgun.

Approximately 75 people were in the bar when Robinsonarrived with the gun, police said.

He grabbed his girlfriend by the neck and began forcing her toward the exit, police say.

Wilson stood up from the table where he was sitting and Robinson fired one shot, hitting him in the chest, court records said. Wilson collapsed on the ground.

Robinson continued pushing the woman out the door and was approached outside the building by Frye, court papers said. Robinson fired several shots, hitting Frye in the chest, police said.

Police arrived moments after Robinson forced the woman into his truck and drove away.

Frye was pronounced dead on arrival at the shocktrauma center. Wilson's condition was upgraded from critical to serious after his arrival at the hospital.

Police say Robinson was arrested less than 2 miles from the truck stop after his rig overturned in slick conditions on the ramp connecting Route 175 to southbound I-95.

Neither he nor the kidnapping victim was injured when the truck overturned, police said.

Robinson has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and handgun violations.

The Trucker's Inn, located in the 7400 block of Assateague Drive, is one of the largest truck stops on the East Coast.

Police say both Frye and Wilson were truckers who made a temporary stop at the business, which has a lounge and vehicle service area.

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