An eastern Missouri man is due in court today after he allegedly shot at a tractor-trailer, missing a person inside, at a rest area on Interstate 44 in Phelps County Sunday afternoon.
The man, Sepid Majid Salem, 59, of Ballwin, was arrested around 2:21 p.m. March 24 after he drove into Phelps County and was stopped by a Phelps County sheriff’s deputy at exit 184 in Rolla.
Salem faces charges of assault in the first degree, a class B felony, unlawful use of a weapon and property damage in the first degree, both class D felonies, according to Missouri case.net.
According to court records, the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Troop I dispatch office was notified of a person, later identified as Salem, driving a maroon Honda Accord on eastbound I-44 near mile marker 166 in Pulaski County. Salem was allegedly discharging a firearm at passing motorists, a witness told the highway patrol.
A female passenger in the Honda, who was not charged in the incident and released after being interviewed, told the highway patrol that Salem stated “I have an urge” and then he stopped the vehicle along the shoulder of the interstate and discharged a firearm about four or five times.
During the course of the investigation, it was learned that a tractor-trailer located in the eastbound rest area in west of Doolittle was struck in the left rear corner of the sleeper berth by one of the bullets allegedly fired by Salem.
Court records state that a passenger was in the sleeper berth when the bullet struck the tractor-trailer.
Sgt. Danny Crain, public information and education officer with Troop I, said no one was injured in the incident.
The tractor-trailer was taken to the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department to be processed for evidence. A camera in the tractor-trailer also recorded the incident and the sheriff’s office made a copy of the tape.
A highway patrol corporal attempted to interview Salem, but Salem requested an attorney before he would answer any questions about the shooting.
Salem was placed in the Phelps County Jail because of the current jail renovation occurring at the Pulaski County Jail. He was placed on a 24-hour hold.
Salem’s initial arraignment in front of 25th Circuit Judge Gregory Warren is scheduled for 9 a.m. today in Pulaski County Circuit Court.