SEATTLE — A Metro bus driver reportedly suffered non-life threatening injuries after he was shot twice by a passenger Monday morning in downtown Seattle.
The shooting took place shortly after 8:45 a.m. on Route 27. According to assistant Seattle Police Chief Paul McDonagh, the suspect boarded a crowded bus on 3rd Avenue and Union Street at Benaroya Hall and opened fire on the 64-year-old male bus driver at a short range for an unknown reason. Police said the suspect stayed on the bus for a short period of time after the shooting before fleeing southbound on University Street.
McDonagh said the suspect — who is in his 30s or 40s — opened fire on a patrol officer as he was running, but missed the officer. He then ran on to a second bus with about 15 passengers on board; the driver and some passengers evacuated the bus. Police opened fire on the suspect when he got on the bus. He sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
The bus driver was also taken to Harborview and was awake and talking, police said. At least two people on the second bus were injured, but McDonagh said the injuries were not caused by gunfire. A 32-year-old Seattle police officer was reported to have suffered minor injuries believed to have been caused by flying glass from the bus. He was also taken to Harborview. Another officer in his 50s was taken to Harborview for treatment of a medical condition.
McDonagh said he believes the police officers did the right thing when they shot at the suspect on the second bus. ”These officers are trained to make life and death decisions,” he said.
A witness at the scene who did not want to be identified reported seeing the suspect running with a gun and being pursued by police. She said when they turned the corner, there “were a bunch of gunshots.” She said the suspect was put into an ambulance while CPR was being administered. Another witness reported that the suspect repeatedly yelled “war” while running away.
Marine Kleven, another witness at the scene, said that eight police cars arrived on the scene and that people in the area fled as the incident unfolded.
Here is video of the scene from Vine user GrazCore: https://vine.co/v/hMuEOB2mjLu
Seattle police said all streets within a 3-block radius of 2nd Avenue and Senaca Street will be closed to traffic for at least eight hours. Downtown workers who work in the affected area must show their ID to police officers and ask to pass through to their office.
“Please realize it will take time to investigate,” McDonagh said.
The Seattle Times reported that the bus driver has been working with Metro since 1999.