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Driver issuesNewsTrucking

Security guard shoots trucker over truck stop parking spot, police say

The trucking industry’s tensions over adequate parking can be seen as a backdrop to an incident Friday in Oklahoma that left a truck driver in the hospital after being shot by a security guard at a truck stop.

According to several local news reports, the incident took place at a TA Truck Center in Oklahoma City, near the intersection of South Council Road and Interstate 40. The shooting occurred in a section of the truck stop with reserved truck parking.

Sgt. Brad Gilmore of the Oklahoma City Police Department, quoted by local news outlets, described the incident as occurring when the security guard for the truck stop was checking the reserved spots. “Apparently the security guard was out there checking that when a disagreement happened,” Gilmore was quoted as saying. “A physical altercation took place. The security guard discharged his firearm.”

The driver, who was not identified in the news stories, was taken to a local hospital. Charges were not filed against the security guard, though Gilmore indicated evidence could be presented to the local district attorney, who could pursue further action.

The report on the shooting from local television station KWTV quoted a truck driver on the scene named Jimmy Combs. His comments seem to sum up the issue with parking that truck drivers face every day. 

“That’s pretty severe force when you’re taking somebody down for parking in somebody’s parking spot,” Combs was quoted as saying. “Most of the time long-haul truck drivers are tired. They run eight, 10, 12 hours and when they want to go to sleep, they go to sleep. You wake them up, I mean if I get woke up, I’m kind of in a bad mood.”

In last year’s annual survey of the biggest issues facing trucking from ATRI, the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, drivers put parking as the No. 3 issue. A year earlier, it was second. In the 2018 survey, management listed parking as the ninth biggest concern. In the most recent survey, it didn’t place in the top 10 in the view of management.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.

159 Comments

  1. , read what the article says it said it didn’t matter to the management they never give a damn they’re sitting at home at night while the trucker is suffering in that truck eating up the little money that he’s making and they don’t even appreciate that try to keep you out forever course is not an issue to them

  2. That’s messed up! Yea we work long hours and sometimes long days! And we try_ to find places to park it can be tough. If toy want to find a place you have to get in there early and I mean early, because you have new drivers or drivers who can’t drive anymore then 3 or 400 miles a day like J B Hunt or Crete or C R England or Werner and swift, taking up the parking spaces and they’ll be in a truck stop by 2 or 3 PM, where the rest of us are still out they’re working and when you come rolling in they’re at 8 pm, The truck stop is full and off course if your willing to pay $60 a mingling they have reserved parking , in which I think is wrong they cab out in as many parking places as they want but when oover half of them are reserved that’s crazy, it’s not like we the truckers don’t spend enough money in those truck stops already, and we just can’t afford to pay anymore and I know why that shooting happened already, but for that security guard to have a gun is ridiculous is absurd!! And course that security guard woke that driver up was dead dog tired an was completely out of hours and couldn’t move without tripping his old into violation mode, which would cost him money and here wouldn’t be able ti work anymore that day!

    1. Do away with reserved parking go back to making all lots paid. That way every body pays and truckstops don’t lose revenue for the driver that thinks he can park on the fuel island to take a shower. Just because you drive doesn’t mean you don’t have to obey the rules. Besides most companies reimburse for parking or if an oo you need the tax write off. I trip plan and if gonna be where parking is sparce I will either prepay for parking or plan accordingly. To be honest this has been a problem since I started in 1991 the only difference is drivers attitudes have gotten more like they deserve to be treated like a king. Trucking isn’t hard yes there’s a lot off bullshit but it’s always ben there. As far as working conditions they have gotten a lot better. So quit crying if the only parking is pay then pay!

      1. Many truckstops are looking at 2 hours free then 3 dollars per hour up to 30 cd per day. All trucking companies need to pay for parking when truck drivers have to pay. Minimum freight rates and twice minimum wages for O T R truck driver should 4 times minimum wage when they stretch their day because of lack of parking storm, or too long at a receiver that doesn’t have enough parking.

  3. Here’s an update regarding this situation with eyewitnesses ..
    Quote :
    February 19 2020

    New details emerge in TA truckstop shooting of trucker parked in reserved parking spot

    We are starting to learn through eye witness accounts what may have really happened at the West Oklahoma City TA Service Station early Saturday morning, when a trucker was shot by a security guard hired by the truckstop to protect it and its visitors.

    According to eyewitness reports a driver was parked in a reserved parking spot when a 5’8”, 180 lbs security guard in a tan pickup truck approached the white Volvo and flatbed trailer with Texas apportioned plates. According to the eyewitness report, the guard knocked on the truck and woke the 42-year old driver up telling him he needed to move as he was in a reserve parking spot and had not paid to park there. 

    According to the eyewitness report combined with a heavy redacted incident report obtained by Freight Broker Live, the driver of the semi climbed back into his truck but did not move it. The 45-year old security guard reportedly “laid on his vehicle’s horn” until the truck driver got out of his truck. A physical fight began between the security guard and the truck driver resulted in the guard drawing his .40 Caliber Glock 22 and firing at the driver, who was “shot once as he attempted to continue striking the armed security guard,” the incident report shows. 

    Freight Broker Live attempted to identify the security guard’s employer with the Oklahoma City Police Department, however according to Sgt. Brad Gilmore the case is still under investigation and has yet to be presented to the District Attorney’s office to determine whether charges will be filed against the security guard or the driver, and because of this names and other details will not be released until the investigation is complete. 

    In a statement to Freight Broker Live, a spokesperson with TA stated, “TA is aware of last week’s distressing incident involving a truck driver and a security guard at TA’s travel center on South Council Road in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. TA is cooperating fully with the Oklahoma City Police, as is the third-party security company. Our thoughts are with the truck driver and we wish him a quick and full recovery.”

    As of the latest update, the truck driver is in “good condition” and “expected to survive” according to police. 
    Armed security guards in Oklahoma are required to attend 72 hours of training including a 20 hours if on-range instruction and exercises along with a proficiency exam, background check and a letter of employment or proof of a surety bond to become licensed. 

    This truckstop has 175 total parking spaces, although it is unknown how many of these spaces are held as “reserved” parking for paying truckers. The  parking spots retail for $15.00 each night.

    To be clear, this truck driver was reportedly shot over $15 dispute that escalated.”

    End quote …..

    1. Quote:

      “Armed security guards in Oklahoma are required to attend 72 hours of training including a 20 hours if on-range instruction and exercises along with a proficiency exam,”

      Quote:
      “The 45-year old security guard reportedly “laid on his vehicle’s horn” until the truck driver got out of his truck.”

      Where in this “exam” does it indicate to provoke the driver in such a way by causing a disturbance of the peace by laying on one’s horn and disturbing all the other truckers that are sleeping in the truck stop yard ?

      Quote:

      “Disturbing the peace, also known as breach of the peace, is a criminal offense that occurs when a person engages in some form of unruly public behavior, such as fighting or causing excessively loud noise. When a person’s words or conduct jeopardizes another person’s right to peace and tranquility, he or she may be charged with disturbing the peace.”
      End quotes .

      Furthermore , most people who haven’t driven a semi truck believe that they need to knock hard on the vehicle’s door to be heard due to its size . A gentle knock is enough for those inside to hear it . Knocking hard is offensive .

      The guard should not have chosen to cause a noise disturbance by leaning on his horn in such an aggressive manner , that’s number one . This act was a tremendous misjudgment on his part which apparently lead to a fight to break out in retaliation to his behaviour .

      I’m sorry but this guard provoked the situation to escalate and therefore should lose the right to perform such a duty , and be held accountable for disturbing the peace and provoking a situation to escalate out of order .

      The story states that the driver had climbed back in his truck until that guard’s misjudgement which lead to provocation occurred .

      Granted the truck driver should not have behaved in the way he did . However, he was provoked . Both are guilty of making bad choices . Both broke the law . Truck driver’s license should be suspended , fined , and put on probation . Security guard should lose his security guard license permanently , fined , and put on probation .

      Security business should retrain guards to use common sense and act rationally . This unfortunate situation could have been prevented had the security guard act a little more rationally .

      TA should choose another security business and test them at spontaneous intervals at all truck stops ,ie: like in an undercover boss situation .

      IMHO !

      1. Just please explain to me how you are going to suspend a drivers license over a non driving incident that happened on private property. This has to be the most retarded statement I have ever read. What occurred here has absolutely zero to with his drivers license and everything to do with a wanna be cop who knows he will NEVER be a real cop because he doesn’t have what it takes and never will.

        1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

          …..

          Quote:

          “Just please explain to me how you are going to suspend a drivers license over a non driving incident that happened on private property.”

          By removing his ability to drive for a certain period of time . Thereby revoking his liberty for assault & battery !

          According to Oklahoma law the truck driver should be prosecuted for assault & battery , put in jail and fined .Then put on probation when released . That way he can keep his license but won’t be able to drive for a period of time while incarcerated !

          Are you happy now ?

          LOL !

          IMHO

        2. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

          Henry, Henry , HENRY ! WAKE UP !

          Quote:
          “everything to do with a wanna be cop who knows he will NEVER be a real cop because he doesn’t have what it takes and never will.”

          That’s an illogical bias opinion .

          The security guard was assaulted & battered by the truck driver . The security guard retaliated in self defense according to WITNESSES !

          No matter how we may feel about the injustices in this industry , according to the update that I posted on this thread the truck driver is in the wrong .
          When using a truck stop facility we need to abide by their rules or forfeit using their services .

          If a truck stop charges for parking on their private property , then you must abide by that rule and pay for such a service . Same goes for if they offer parking reservations . If a parking spot is reserved for someone else than yourself then you have no permission to park in that spot .

          If a truck stop hires a security guard to ensure rules are followed and or to stop and prevent crimes from being committed , users of that truck stop must abide by that security guard enforcing truck stop rules .

          You don’t “attack” a truck stop security guard when asked by the security guard to abide by truck stop rules at a truck stop .

          Could this have been handled differently ? Absolutely but this is besides the point . The point is the security guard was physically attacked by the truck driver according to witnesses . That’s why the truck driver was shot in self defense by the security guard .
          Had the truck driver simply removed his truck from the reserved spot that was not reserved for him when the guard asked him to do so , this unfortunate incident would not have occurred . Prior to , the trucker shouldn’t have parked in that spot to begin with .

          As much as I would like to take the truck drivers side in this case , I cannot due to the truck driver committing a wrong that escalated to the point where he attacked a security guard physically and due to his unlawful and unethical act ended up getting shot in self defense in the process .

          We must be held accountable for our decisions that lead to our chosen behaviors .
          Until proven otherwise , from my perspective the truck driver in this incident is wrong and guilty on all accounts . However, I repeat , I still believe that the security guard should be trained to handle such situations differently and prevent potential similar escalation in the future .

          In my humble opinion ………..

      2. The security officer knew that was going to have confrontation. For him causing the problem then shooting the truck driver the security officer should get 10 years with a minimum of 4 years served plus the T A should have to the truck driver medical bills because of the shooting. The truck driver should not be allowed in any ta or petro truck stop plus a g p s chip for a minimum of 4 years. Implanted in him plus anger management training plus 500 hours community service at a veterans hospital and or homeless shelter and a $6000 to be donated to a sick trucker fund by him or 3 months in jail.

    2. I’ll be there to park in a reserved parking spot and I dare one of this guards to try to make me move. They’ll receive the front end of a PETERBILT and a quick trip to see god himself.

      1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

        Hey genius !

        What brought you to write about your intent to commit a premeditated crime potentially leading to 1st degree murder on a public thread which registers your IP footprint ?

    1. E-logs with current hours of service is issue one for me when was able to work. Poor pay issue two parking is issue 3 for me. The C T A in Canada or the A T A is not concerned about truck drivers well being.

  4. Alright I can’t sugar coat this at all. If you’re inept enough to get into a physical altercation with someone that has a firearm in a security or police capacity I think that’s called natural selection.

    Typically someone in that capacity wont risk being incapacitated thus giving a random individual full access to their equipment to do harm to others in that location, and leaving a location unguarded. Thus a shooting could be justified. And if they’re willing to get physical with someone in that capacity they’re probably a shithead anyway.

    but hey im just a marine.

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