Victim Identified, Suspect Charged in I-80 Rest Stop Shooting

By Dave Franzman & Mark Geary, Reporters

Shooting victim Jeffrey McAdams.

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By Richard Pratt

Rest Stop Shooting
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IOWA COUNTY - Prosecutors have charged a Nebraska man with the murder of a part-time maintenance worker at the I-80 Westbound rest stop near mile marker 208.

Authorities arrested Peter Riggs, 31, of Columbus, Nebraska, alleging Riggs shot and killed Jeffrey McAdam, 46, of Victor in the men’s restroom at the rest stop. Riggs is being held in Iowa County jail on a $1 million bond, charged with first-degree murder.

Darrel Rustad, a Wisconsin truck driver, stopped to use the rest stop restroom and found McAdam barely alive, propped up against the wall, bleeding from a gunshot wound. Rustad said he never heard a gunshot and did not see anyone leave the building before he walked inside. Investigators say the shooting happened sometime between 7:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday night.

“He was incoherent. I tried to talk to him to see if I could get him to respond,” Rustad said.

Rustad ran back outside, dialed 9-1-1 and tried to keep others away from the area.

Cheryl Cherny, a Michigan woman who watched everything unfold at the rest stop after the Rustad found the body, said, “People were just saying someone was hurt. He was hurt really, really bad.”

By the time paramedics, police, deputies and even a life-flight helicopter arrived, it was too late. McAdam died at the rest stop because of a single-gunshot wound, according to the Iowa County Sheriff’s office.

News of the murder stunned people who work there.

“I’ve been here going on 11-12 years and we’ve never had anything like this happen,” maintenance supervisor Ned Minehart said.

McAdam’s supervisor describes him as an easy-going guy who loved his job.

“He was a very cordial person. Peaceful. Laid back,” Minehart said.

Family members and close friends spoke to BJ Franklin, director of the Horizons Survivor’s Program, about the loving husband and father of three.

“He would do anything for anybody. He had a great sense of humor. He was a jokester,” Franklin said, “He never knew a stranger. He would talk to anybody. He had a gift for gab.”

McAdam just started working at the rest stop part-time about a month ago. Supervisors planned to promote him to full-time in June.

“He liked the opportunity to talk to the truckers. He liked the opportunity to talk to people. He had been a trucker in the past,” Franklin said.

In addition to his job at the rest stop, McAdam operated a taxidermy business out of his home. He also enjoyed coaching soccer and t-ball. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing and spending time with his two dogs.

McAdam was an active member of the Victor Baptist Church. The family plans to have his funeral at the church.

The rest stop where the murder happened had returned to normal by Sunday afternoon. An autopsy has also been scheduled.

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