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Iowa Woman Was Throwing Rocks at Trucker's Semi. So, He Pulled Out a Gun and Fatally Shot Her.

Trucker Fatally Shot Woman Who Was Throwing Rocks at His Semi
Source: Aurora Police Department; UNSPLASH

Apr. 18 2024, Published 3:04 p.m. ET

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A truck driver sleeping in his cab in Colorado was convicted of murder after he fatally shot a woman throwing rocks at his vehicle, authorities said.

Around 2:25 a.m. on Oct. 28, 2022, John Thoren, 44, of Ankeny, Iowa, was asleep in the parking lot of the Boot Barn in Aurora when he was woken up by a woman, later identified as Rachel Holmes, 46, allegedly throwing rocks at the truck, KDVR reported, citing arrest documents.

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“Thoren mouthed out the window to the female to ‘stop’ because he did not think the female would hear him over the running engine of his truck,” the documents state.

“Thoren grabbed a handgun and showed it to the female through the driver’s window,” police wrote in the documents. “Thoren did this in an effort to get the female tostop throwing rocks at his truck. The female turned away from Thoren and grabbed another rock.”

When the woman allegedly continued to throw rocks at the truck, Thoren told investigators he opened the cab’s door and warned: “If you don’t stop you are about to get shot.”

According to Thoren, the woman charged him, and he felt threatened and “squeezed a round off and got her,” the documents state, noting the truck driver claimed, “My number one intention was to protect myself.”

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“That was my intent, whatever I had to do to do it,” Thoren told police, according to the documents. “That was what I was thinking.”

Thoren told detectives he had not previously met the shooting victim and they had not had a sexual relationship. He also said he had an agreement in place that he was allowed to sleep in his truck in the parking lot while making deliveries to the area.

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After investigating the deadly incident, police arrested Thoren on suspicion of second-degree murder.

Court documents show Thoren expressed surprise when police told him his truck had no signs of damage.

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On April 12, 2024, Thoren was found guilty of second-degree murder and an enhancement of violent crime/use of a weapon in connection with the shooting death of Holmes, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Thoren is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on July 22.

In a statement, District Attorney John Kellner said, "While citizens have the right to bear arms and protect themselves from imminent danger, the evidence doesn’t support this defendant’s claims that his life was in danger."


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