Virginia trucker says his truck was shot in last week’s I-79 incident in Weston
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Virginia trucker is recounting his encounter with a gunman on I-79 as he passed through West Virginia last week. Justin Gilbert a truck driver from Dublin, Va., just happened to be passing Exit 99 at Weston on I-79 moments after the driver of a silver SUV pulled sideways on the highway and blocked northbound traffic. "It looked like an unmarked cop car, so I figured they were shutting the interstate down for a wreck up over the rise," Gilbert said in a conversation Monday with MetroNews.
What he would later learn was the SUV was driven by Matthew Brevosky, 38, of Grindstone, Pa. and he was behind the SUV with a scoped rifle. 'I wasn't really focused on the SUV or him. There was a cut over in the median and I stopped short of it figuring they would detour us out of there and I would be the first one to cross over.
If I hadn't done that I would have been right up there with him," Gilbert explained. At the time Gilbert stopped there were no law enforcement vehicles around. They soon started pouring onto the scene and Gilbert said that's when the shooting started.
"I don't know for sure, but I don't think he fired a shot until the police started showing up," he explained. The first shot Gilbert heard came as a state trooper crossed over in the median turn around beside of his truck. "The truck right beside of me rolled his window down and motioned to get my attention.
He told me, 'That was a gunshot.' I told him that's what I thought and he got to looking around and he said, 'I believe he hit your truck,'" he said. Gilbert got out of his truck and took a look, but didn't notice much at that point. He went to speak with a couple of other drivers at another truck to find out what was happening.
According to Gilbert, that's when things got really tense. "We were standing there talking, that's when he fired another shot. The bullet whizzed by us somewhere within a few inches to a few feet of us.
Probably 30 seconds to a minute after that guy fired his last shot, I heard pow, pow, pow, pow, several gunshots in a row. I said, 'Well , they just killed him.'" he said. Gilbert got off the highway and into a shopping plaza at Weston to take a closer look at his cab.
He opened the hood and noticed the bullet hole. The shot pierced the front of his truck between the grill and the passenger side headlight, passed through the light assembly and struck a heavy rubber flap on the backside. Along with a state trooper, he returned to the highway to show him where he was sitting when the shot was fired.
"We walked up that lane and just about the time I said, 'I was about right here.' We looked down and there was a piece of plastic from my headlight and six to eight inches from there was the bullet," he said. Gilbert said the trooper told him that may be the only bullet they were able to recover from the scene. Gilbert is just glad they weren't digging it out of him.
Gilbert drives a truck across the country and he's seen a thing or two, but admits this may be the pinnacle.
"You see a lot of crazy stuff out here, but this may be top of the list," he said.