Trucker Who Police Say Killed Himself During Inspection is Identified, Questions Still Remain
Rochester, MN – The trucker who police say shot and killed himself yesterday during a vehicle inspection has been identified though numerous questions still remain unanswered.
On Thursday, the Southern Minnesota Medical Examiner’s Office identified the deceased as Michael Charles Apicella, 63, of Black River Falls, WI.
An investigation remains ongoing, but here’s what we know so far.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol (MSP), the tragic incident began at approximately 6:45 a.m. when three troopers assigned to the Minnesota State Patrol Commercial Vehicle unit stopped a semi-truck traveling northbound on Highway 52 and driven by Apicella.
Troopers directed Apicella to pull into the Miracle Mile shopping center parking lot — located at 115 16th Ave NW in Rochester — for inspection.
Then at approximately 8:30 a.m., MSP said officers asked Apicella to produce identification, but he failed to do so.
When officers attempted to arrest Apicella, MSP said the truck driver then pulled out a handgun and fired it twice inflicting fatal wounds to his head.
He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
MSP said none of the officers fired a weapon at any time.
The three troopers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Rochester Police Department.
Still, the official report from authorities raised numerous questions regarding both the timeline and details of exactly what transpired.
For instance, what happened between 6:45 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and why did it take so long for troopers to ask Apicella to produce his identification?
Also, how was Apicella able to fire two shots to his head?
Transportation Nation Network contacted MSP today to ask these questions and numerous others.
However, MSP declined to provide any additional information at this time.
Meanwhile, images from the scene reveal Apicella was operating for Onalaska, WI-based Stone Freight Company LLC.
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the small carrier operates four power units and employs four drivers.
Stone Freight Company’s website says it offers dry bulk, refrigerated, flatbed, less-than-load and oversized/overweight transport services.
Apicella was pulling a flatbed partially loaded with wooden pallets at the time he was stopped.
It also remains unclear at this time if Apicella had a history of emotional instability or mental illness which might possibly help explain why he chose to end his life.
If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Hotline is open 24/7.
Call them at (800) 273-8255.
Your life matters.
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow this investigation.