Trucker Charged With Murder Called 9-1-1 to Report He Shot Fellow Trucker
Union Township, NJ – A trucker charged with murder and other crimes in connection to a shooting at a New Jersey truck stop last weekend called police to report the incident.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, truck driver David Rodriguez, 44, of Rialto, CA alerted authorities to a deadly shooting at Pilot Travel Center located on Route 173 in Union Township — just off of Interstate 78 — at 12:37 p.m. on Saturday.
When investigators with the NJSP Troop “B” Perryville Station arrived they discovered the victim, identified as truck driver Ricardo De Castro, 43, of Deerfield Beach, FL, inside the store and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
De Castro was immediately transported to a nearby hospital in a desperate effort to save his life.
Sadly, he was pronounced dead a short time later at 1:43 p.m.
Authorities found Rodriguez sitting in his 2019 Freightliner with a black and silver .40 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun in plain view in the sleeper, court documents show.
Investigators said Rodriguez informed the 9-1-1 dispatcher he was inside his truck (which was parked in the truck lot) and had removed the ammunition prior to police arriving.
According to the affidavit, Rodriguez claimed the two men, who did not know each other, argued near his truck.
During the course of the altercation, Rodriguez asserted he shot De Castro after being spat at and threatened.
Investigators have not released the exact nature of the disagreement.
In the moments leading up to the shooting a witness reported seeing De Castro walk from the space between his parked tractor-trailer and Rodriguez’ rig.
However, the affidavit does not include direct witness testimony regarding the moments of the actual shooting.
Rodriguez is facing charges of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes.
He is currently being held at the Warren County Jail.
According to De Castro’s obituary, his family will fulfill his wishes of being buried in Brazil.
If you would like to contribute to the family in order to help with arrangements to transport his body to Brazil, you may do so HERE.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow this story.
Photo courtesy the family of Ricardo De Castro