SEATTLE — It was not the way anyone wanted to start their day — a busy morning rush, a crowded King County Metro bus, a fight and then gunfire.
It happened at 3rd and Union just before 9 a.m.
Witnesses say the gunman, identified as Martin Duckworth, 31, entered through the rear door, then he got angry when the driver told him he needed to come to the front and pay to ride.
Another witness said Duckworth “hit the driver and I turned away and then I heard the pop and so I ran. And then it seemed like he was going the same direction I was, so I kept running and I kept hearing him … and then there would be a bunch of pops.”
Duckworth shot the driver, 64-year-old Deloy Dupuis, at least twice — in the face and cheek.
“At the same time, people are exiting both the front and back door of the bus — they’re running they’re yelling, ‘He has a gun,’ ” interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel said.
Dupuis was taken to the hospital, treated and released late Monday afternoon.
Witnesses say the Duckworth took off running from the scene, with officers close behind.
Cops say the he tried to get into several vehicles during the chase but couldn’t, and he kept running, gun still in hand.
“You can`t help people when someone pulls out firearms; you better run and then call somebody to help,” witness Kip Green said.
Duckworth then jumped on board a different Metro bus at 2nd and Seneca as police closed in.
“People scattering to get out of the way on the sidewalk across the street there,” witness Shawn Good said.
Passengers on that crowded bus jumped out the back as police drew their weapons.
Once riders were clear, officers fired multiple rounds, hitting Duckworth at least once.
He died a short time later.
“Oh my God, it was so scary. I mean, you don`t really see that kind of stuff every day, to see it right outside the window is pretty breathtaking,” witness Kari Courtade said.
King County Executive Dow Constantine was one of the first to visit Dupuis in the hospital.
He says Dupuis had only one question.
“He asked almost immediately; how were his passengers? That is an example of the kind of dedicated public servant that we so value here,” Constantine said.
So the driver is OK and no passengers on either bus were injured, due in large part to drivers who did what they could to protect passengers.
“I hope the next time you board a bus that you will take a minute to thank your Metro driver for doing a tough job and doing it remarkably well,” Constantine said.