A New York truck driver was shot in the chest during an
altercation with a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer. State authorities said the
scuffle between the two men was “so severe” that the investigation is trying to
rule out possible connections to terrorism.
A little before 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30, Tennessee Highway
Patrol Trooper Thomas C. Kilpatrick stopped an eastbound tractor-trailer on
U.S. 64 for speeding, according Tennessee Highway Patrol Public Information
Officer Beth Denton.
Kilpatrick was returning to his patrol car after talking to
the driver of the rig when the driver allegedly put the rig in reverse and
rammed the patrol car.
While Denton said she had no confirmation that the driver
had anything in his hands, Wayne County District Attorney General Mike Bottoms
told The Nashville Tennessean that
the driver got out of the truck with a knife in his hand and got into a fight
with the officer.
Denton said the man was shot in the upper right chest area
during the scuffle with the officer. The driver then got back in his truck and
drove away. He stopped on his own a short distance later, where he was taken
The man – identified by The
Tennessean as Mohammed Medhat Karim, 46 – was airlifted to Vanderbilt
University Medical Center where it was reported that he was in critical
condition following the shooting. The trooper has been placed on paid
administrative leave pending an investigation – a matter of routine following
an officer-involved shooting.
Maj. Gen Jerry Humble with Tennessee Homeland
Security said his department was involved mainly because of the driver’s
“We’re just checking into it,” Humble said. “We don’t have
any indicators of terrorist activity. But in the state of Tennessee, we’re
going to make sure – as we should across the country.”
Humble said that the truck driver’s aggressive, erratic
behavior was all the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations needed to ask the state
Department of Homeland Security to pitch in on the investigation.
Humble even pointed to his agency’s relationship with
truckers as an example of how uncommon the driver’s behavior was.
“Truckers are very important to us. They see a lot and know
a lot. They are very important to our efforts,” he said. “And we just don’t see
truckers acting like that.”
Humble said the man’s truck has been impounded and the cargo
will be searched, as a measure to ensure there is not connection to
“We’re going to make sure, as a safeguard, there is no
connectivity to terrorism,” he said.
--by Jami Jones, feature editor