Killed six people in a shooting rampage as he shot up
his bosses' offices.
Crashed a tractor-trailer rig through a police barricade before officers
shot him to death.
Texas trucker kills 6, dies in chase,
Philadelphia Daily News
August 9, 1982
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas
- A carbine-toting trucker, reportedly angry over being banned from
driving, killed six people in a shooting rampage today, stole a truck
and led police on a wild chase before he was shot and killed.
John Felton Parish
(July 4, 1933 – August 9, 1982) was an American mass murderer who shot
dead six people and wounded three others at two warehouses in Grand
Prairie, Texas, United States on August 9, 1982.
driving a hijacked semi-trailer truck, he led police on a high-speed
chase through Grand Prairie downtown that ended only when he broke
through a police barricade, injuring an officer, and crashed into a
building. He was subsequently killed by police during a shootout.
It was the worst
shooting rampage in Dallas-Fort Worth history at that time.
Parish was born in
Dallas County, Texas on July 4, 1933. He was married and had two
children, though he was estranged from his wife and had lost a child
custody-battle against her shortly before the shooting. Also the same
year his brother needed his second kidney implant and his older sister
died from cancer.
Parish, who had no
police-record and was described by his supervisors as an easy-going
person, had been a trucker for 20 years and worked for Jewel T warehouse
for eight months, before joining the Western Transportation Company in
The people at Jewel T
complained about him, calling him a troublemaker, and Jewel T supervisor
Rick Svoboda demanded that Parish should be taken off a contract job
Western Transportation had with Jewel T, whereupon he was banned from
making deliveries for said company.
In the two weeks
prior to the shooting Parish had a pay dispute with Western
Transportation and had complained to supervisor Eddie Ulrich that he was
owed $1,600 of outstanding pay.
rejected his claims, explaining that he had earned less, because he had
worked less. Nonetheless Parish felt, according to his brother and his
friends, mistreated and was tired of it, but also stated that they could
work it out, if they talked to him like a man, and didn't treat him like
At approximately 8:00
a.m. on August 9, Parish, armed with a shortened M1 carbine, a
.25-caliber semi-automatic pistol, and a .38-caliber revolver, entered
the Western Transportation Company building in the central business
district of Grand Prairie, to discuss for a last time with his
supervisor Eddie Ulrich about his payment dispute. When the discussion
did not go to his liking, Parish killed Ulrich, as well as truck driver
Martin Moran and operations manager Moody Smith, before stealing a
bobtail truck and driving to the Western Transportation Company office
half a block down the street.
There he killed
executive secretary Wyvonne Kohler and wounded receptionist Ruth James
with shots in her shoulder and neck, as well as operations manager
Burnett Hart with a shot to the head. He also took office worker Vicki
Smallwood hostage for a while, to find an executive named Mike,
threatening: "If he's not in, you're dead." Though, after his search
proved to be of no avail, Parish decided to let his hostage go, when
realizing that she was the wife of an acquainted mechanic.
Parish next drove to
Jewel T warehouse about four miles away, arriving there a few minutes
later. There he killed district sales manager Dave Bahl, and then went
to the shipping office, where he was confronted by warehouse supervisor
Rick Svoboda. Parish put his revolver to Svoboda's jaw and killed him,
and then shot him again in the face when he was lying on the floor.
Parish also wounded shipping supervisor Robert Sarabia after chasing
left the building and approached a 18-wheeler tractor-trailer loaded
with cookies. Its driver, Carl Lorentz, at the sight of the gunman
jumped out of the truck, breaking his foot.
Hijacking the truck
Parish left the compound of Jewel T warehouse and, chased by police by
now, raced at 70mph through downtown Grand Prairie. After 1 1/2 miles
Parish neared a police barrickade, where he was shot at by police
officer Alan T. Patton and crashed into a police car, knocking the
officer across the street. Patton suffered multiple fractures and a
The truck then
knocked down a utility pole and crashed, together with another car, into
a building owned by the E.L. Murphy Trucking Company. Upon hitting the
wall the truck overturned. Parish crawled out of his vehicle, shooting
at the officers, and made his way into the building through a hole in a
wall, where he was killed by police with seven or eight shots at 8:27
During the shooting
Parish had used all of his weapons, mostly the M1 carbine, which was
fired about 28 times, and his revolver, while only one shot was fired
with his pistol.
Dave Bahl, 28,
district sales manager at Jewel T warehouse
Wyvonne Kohler, 45, executive secretary at Western Transportation
Martin Douglas Moran, 30, truck driver for Western Transportation
Moody Charles Smith, 58, operations manager at Western Transportation
Rick Svoboda, 37, warehouse supervisor at Jewel T warehouse
Eddie Eugene Ulrich, 40, supervisor at Western Transportation Company
Texas trucker kills 6 in rampage
The Miami Herald
August 10, 1982
A truck driver killed
six persons and injured four Monday as he shot up his bosses' offices,
then crashed a tractor-trailer rig through a police barricade before
officers shot him to death.
Police said the violence began about
8 a.m. when John F. Parish, 46, of Dallas, armed with an M1 carbine, a
.25-caliber automatic pistol and a .38-caliber revolver, walked into the
Western Transfer Co. building in the central business district of this
Texas trucker slain after killing 6
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - A truck driver
killed six people and injured four yesterday as he shot up his bosses'
offices, and crashed a tractor-trailer rig through a police barricade
before he was gunned down, authorities said.
Police said the violence began about 8 a.m. when John
F. Parish, 46, of Dallas, armed with two pistols and a rifle, walked
into the Western Transfer Co. building in the central business district
of this Dallas suburb.
Witnesses said Parish spoke to no one as he calmly
shot and killed three of his supervisors, Eddie Eugene Ulrich, 40,
Martin Douglas Moran, 30, and Moody Charles Smith, 58, of Lufkin.
He then left his company vehicle, stole a truck and
drove a half block to another Western Transfer office, where he fatally
wounded executive secretary Wyvonne Kohler, 45, of Arlington. He wounded
19-year-old receptionist Ruth James of Alvarado and Burnett Hart, 42, an
operations manager from Arlington.
A few minutes later, Parish entered the warehouse of
Jewel-T, a discount grocery store, where he shot and killed Dave Bahl
and Rick Svoboda. Robert Sarabia, 30, was wounded.
Police Chief David Kunkle said Parish worked for
Western Transfer, which contracted with Jewel-T. He said Jewel-T
officials had complained to Western Transfer about the trucker, claiming
he was a troublemaker.
Kunkle also said Parish had had a pay dispute with
Western Transfer for the last two weeks.
"This was not a random shooting," the police chief
said. "The man obviously had an agenda. He had a mission to accomplish."
After the shootings at Jewel-T, Parish commandeered
an 18-wheel tractor- trailer loaded with cookies. The driver, Carl
Lorentz, 57, of Mesquite, was injured in the scuffle with Parish and was
treated at Grand Prairie Community Hospital.
About 30 minutes after it all started, during a
running gun battle with police, Parish rammed the truck through a police
barricade. Officer Alan T. Patton, 32, who was standing outside his car,
was seriously injured.
Wayne Standifer, who owns Wayne's Custom Automotive
across the street from the barricade, heard the gunfire and saw the
truck hit the police car.
"The truck hit the squad car and the officer went
flying across the pavement," Standifer said. "It sent the car about 75
The truck then rolled up a small embankment near a
parking lot, knocking down a utility pole and sliding into another car,
shoving it into a building owned by the E.L. Murphy trucking company.
The truck overturned on its side as it hit the building, its cab
crushing against the concrete-block wall.
Jim Hodge, a truck driver from Cullman, Ala., was
inside the Murphy building. "I thought I was gone there for a minute,"
Bob Fischer, 25, Murphy terminal manager, said he saw
the truck come sliding through the wall.
"I stood up and tried to dive through the window," he
said, but blinds blocked him. He ran into the adjacent office where
Hodge was and both climbed out between the building and the wrecked
Kunkle said Parish continued to fire at officers as
he climbed out of the cab and into the building. Several officers fired
at him and he suffered seven or eight gunshot wounds. He died in a pool
of blood in Fischer's office.
Kunkle said officers recovered an M-1 carbine, a .25-caliber
semi-automatic pistol and a .38-caliber pistol after Parish died.