Operator targeted in ‘trucker spy’ shooting speaks out

| June 03, 2013

Following our publication of the “‘Trucker spy’ found guilty in road incident” story that detailed the case of Joseph Volpe, found guilty of second-degree attempted murder after an  incident in which shots were fired at owner-operator Bruce Johnston in Tennessee, Johnston provided his account of what happened.  

I am the truck driver that Joseph Volpe shot at. I would like to set the record straight. First off, we had a chance encounter on the Interstate on June 30, 2010, while I was driving through Chattanooga, Tenn. To make a long story short, he got angry with me when I would not get out from behind him, and as it was described in court, it was ultimately a short road-rage incident.

As we started down the ridge cut he came up on the right side of my truck and fired a shot through the back of my sleeper at a left-upward angle. The bullet passed through the back of my seat, over my left shoulder, missing the back of my head by about three inches.

Now the story everyone has been reading about him filming me and me trying to run him off the road — that never happened. I didn’t know anything about any video cameras until he was stopped by the police and arrested. That story started on Dec. 10, 2010, when his then second attorney told the local news that was what happened, according to Volpe, when he was arrested for the charge of first-degree attempted murder. That charge was handed down by a grand jury on Nov. 17, 2010, and from what I’ve seen, that’s where Overdrive and everyone else got that story.

From what I’ve been told by the DA’s office, he had a total of four attorneys assigned to him through the courts. Each attorney was court-appointed. We went to court a total of 13 times before the trial finally got started on May 7 this year and concluded on May 9, with him being found guilty of all three charges – second-degree attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. Needless to say, he was not happy he had a fly by night company he called Third Eye Highway Safety, which he never got a business license for. Sentencing is scheduled for June 17, 2013. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome. –Bruce Johnston, owner-operator, Tennessee

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  • 2WildT

    Glad to see you were unharmed by this lunatic. Also glad he’s now off the road. I blow through that area frequently myself. Troopers there should be ashamed of themselves for the allowed aggressive driving that goes on in that area by four wheelers. Charlotte, Nc is just as bad or worse.

  • http://twitter.com/MesaBulldog Dale Setzer

    Glad you are OK,Lotsa nuts on the road.

  • joe solo

    hell yea we need to be able to legally carry weapons as truck drivers!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawn.l.hubbard Shawn L Hubbard

    The fact that the press is just barely getting the truck drivers side of the story says a lot about the poor state of journalism these days. It seems reporters write whatever is spoonfed to them, with no follow up or fact checking. Sad…

  • gary d

    I had a guy intentionally clip me when he passed me and then wanted me to pull over to look at the damage, this was on I-94 near gary Indiana, needless to say I kept on trucking.

  • Chad

    Just curious, who says you can’t carry legally as a truck driver?