PHOENIX — A semi-driver whose truck was struck while driving along a Phoenix freeway told KTAR News 92.3’s Mac and Gaydos what happened Thursday morning while he was driving westbound on Interstate 10.
Mike, who decided not to give his last name, was driving between 43rd and 51st avenues in Phoenix when he heard what he thought was debris hit his semi-truck.
“I thought it was a rock, I didn’t know what it was until I actually stopped to look at it and there was a hole in my truck,” he said.
Arizona Department of Public Safety officers investigated the incident and could not confirm if the truck was hit by a bullet, but identified that there was a penetrating hole in the side of the truck, he said.
DPS officers have confirmed 11 shootings on Phoenix freeways as of Thursday, seven involving bullets and four involving projectiles.
Another vehicle was also struck Thursday in the area. Several other incidents were reported but DPS has not confirmed them.
Mike, who has been driving for 10 years without incident, said he believes he could have been seriously injured if the situation happened a little differently.
“I see a hole in the side of my truck, that actually, now, really kinda scares me half to death,” he said. “Because if it was any lower than what it was, it would’ve come through the truck and hit me.”
Mike is changing the route he normally takes, both a personal and company-wide decision. Mike said his entire company has had to reroute drivers in order to avoid the area.
The company is not the only one to take these preventative measures; A Phoenix-area school district has banned its buses from freeways until the Interstate 10 shootings are stopped.
There has only been one confirmed minor injury in the shootings, but DPS Director Col. Frank Milstead said someone will eventually be killed if “this insanity continues.”
“This game, if you will, that someone or some people are playing is going to end in death,” Milstead said in an interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes on Thursday morning.
Mike said he hopes the person or persons behind the shootings are caught and reprimanded as soon as possible.
“Right now, I feel pretty violated that somebody has the audacity and the nerve to do this,” he said. “I don’t see the point in it and I hope they end up catching this person and they throw more than just the book at ’em because I lost a day of work because of this person.”
DPS officers are encouraging drivers to be aware on the road and contact them at 602-644-5805 with any information. A $20,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the arrest of the suspected serial shooter.
- Here is the timeline of Mesa officers’ recent use-of-force incidents
- Funding sought for study on rising violence in Phoenix police encounters
- Another portion of I-10 in Phoenix to be closed during June 8 weekend
- Phoenix-area killer used gun he legally owned despite arrest, police say
- Man found dead in Scottsdale linked to 6 Valley murders, police say