Truck driver charged with shooting into car on I-95 during rush hour

October 29, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writer

An Idaho truck driver was charged yesterday with shooting into a car -- shattering two windows but missing the driver -- as the vehicles sped north on Interstate 95 near Laurel during Thursday's rush hour, state police said.

Richard A. Gioffreda, 33, of Boise, was charged with assault with intent to murder, use of a handgun in the commission of a felony, possession of a handgun, assault and reckless endangerment.

He was being held yesterday on $75,000 bail at the Prince George's County Detention Center. He was arrested on I-95 near Route 100 after a motorist who witnessed the shooting followed the truck and called police from a cellular phone.

"We certainly appreciate the motorist's assistance," said Lt. Gregory M. Shipley, a state police spokesman, noting that highway shootings "are very rare" in Maryland.

"It is not something we want to see more of," he said.

Northern Virginia has seen a spate of highway shootings and serious injuries.

Maryland State Police said Thursday's incident began at 5:30 p.m. when the tractor-trailer, with its bright lights on, started to tailgate a Mazda 626 driven by Jack C. Schroeder of Laurel, just south of the Route 212 exit in Prince George's County.

Mr. Schroeder braked slightly to warn the truck driver, police said. The truck driver leaned out of his window and fired two rounds from a handgun, shattering two rear windows, police said.

Mr. Schroeder got off the highway and called state police. State police pulled the truck over near Route 100. They said they recovered a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

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