UPDATE: Charges were filed in the case on Monday against 22-year-old Joseph Jackson.
The Indiana State Police said Jackson was taken into custody shortly after the incident and taken to the Hendricks County Jail. The prosecutor filed formal charges against Jackson including:
- Attempted Murder
- Aggravated Battery
- Neglect of a Dependent
- Carrying a Handgun with No License
- Conversion (theft of the tow truck)
The victim was last listed in a stable condition.
HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. — A tow-truck driver is in critical condition after being shot by a man whose vehicle broke down on I-70 in Hendricks County, according to Indiana State Police.
At about 10:15 a.m. Friday, authorities were called to I-70 eastbound near the rest park at the 64 mile marker. Officers arrived to find a man who had been shot. He was taken to an area hospital in critical condition.
“It’s very disconcerting that something like this happened, in broad daylight no less,” said Captain Ron Galaviz, chief public information officer for ISP.
ISP said the shooting happened after a man had a possible mechanical issue with his vehicle and pulled to the shoulder of the interstate near the rest park.
It was after the tow truck driver arrived to assist, that state police said the driver fired shots at him.
“When a tow truck arrived to assist, the individual that was in the broken-down vehicle, fired multiple shots at the tow truck driver, striking him,” Galaviz said. “The shooter then went back to his vehicle, grabbed the 4-year-old child that was inside of that vehicle, they both got into the tow truck and drove away.”
According to police, the man in the tow truck was located a short time later and apprehended. Investigators also found the man’s 4-year-old child in the truck.
“There have been a number of shootings over the last couple of years. We have been very fortunate here of late that we’ve actually been able to, within a very short period of time, make a couple of arrests,” Galaviz said.
The identity of the shooter has not yet been released by authorities and an update has not been provided on the condition of the victim.
Tow truck drivers are often on busy roadways and in some cases, in unsafe locations while responding to calls for assistance from motorists, that’s why experts said much of the training they do revolves around safety and move over laws.
Still, there isn’t quite a manual that prepares for a situation like this, said Bart Giesler, Executive Director of the Indiana Towing & Wrecker Association.
“I’m not aware of anybody giving specific training for this, no different than I’m assuming a plumbing company doesn’t train their members for a tragedy like this,” said Giesler.
Giesler said, at the end of the day, it’s simple. Tow truck drivers want to help others, while doing the job as safely as possible.
“We just want our members and employees to be able to make it home safe to their families,” said Giesler.
Often times, tow truck operators are the first to arrive on scene when a vehicle breaks down or a person is experiencing a mechanical issue.
“I think there’s that frustration and a lot of times we may be the first person that we see after the accident,” said Giesler.
“The unfortunate reality of the world we live in is, you just don’t know. Whether it’s an Uber driver or somebody out going and providing a service, you know, going out and trying to assist someone,” he said. “That’s typically the last thing that anyone would ever think about. You’re going to help them.”
Giesler wasn’t able to comment on this incident, but said he is thinking of the tow truck driver injured in Friday’s shooting.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the driver and his family,” said Giesler.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing. ISP said detectives are working with the Hendrick’s County Prosecutor’s Office to determine charges against the suspect.