DALLAS – A man arrested in the fatal shooting of a postal worker driving a delivery rig on a Dallas highway may have been acting out of road rage, authorities said Thursday.
U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox issued a statement saying that Donnie Ferrell, 25, of Hutchins, had been arrested and was being charged with murder of an officer or employee of the U.S. government while that employee was engaged in official duties. U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokeswoman Amanda McMurrey said Ferrell was due to appear before a magistrate judge Thursday.
"With this arrest, we take a crucial step towards ensuring that the person allegedly responsible for this senseless murder is brought to justice," Cox wrote in her statement.
Jail records did not list an attorney for Ferrell and an online court record had not been created as of Thursday afternoon.
Police said they responded after 2 a.m. to shots being fired and found the 11-ton (10-metric ton) postal rig crashed into a guardrail on Interstate 30 outside of downtown Dallas. The driver, 58-year-old Tony Mosby, was dead from an apparent gunshot wound and slumped over in the cab.
FBi investigators, Dallas police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service — the law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service — cooperated to investigate the shooting.
The U.S. attorney's office says two witnesses who were with Ferrell came forward to tell the FBI that they saw him fire several shots from the front passenger seat of the car they were all riding in at the rig Mosby was driving. They said they had seen sparks flying and the truck swerve and asked Ferrell why he had shot.
The witnesses, who were not named, said Ferrell told them the driver of the truck had made a hand gesture at them and it made him mad, according to the affidavit.
The two said they had met up with Ferrell and another person for dinner at a Dallas restaurant before drinking alcohol together at a pool hall. The four left together. The witnesses said a fourth person, who was driving the SUV, was driving erratically behind the postal truck, and was passing on the truck's left when Ferrell fired the shots from a revolver.
The two said that Ferrell had texted them to try to persuade them not to say anything about the shooting.
Federal investigators had offered a $50,000 reward, but it was unclear whether the money would be awarded in the case.
The charge carries a sentence of up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.