Story Summary

Metro bus driver shot

A 64-year-old male bus driver was shot shortly before 9 a.m. Aug. 12. He sustained non-life threatening injuries. Police shot the suspect on another Metro bus; the suspect sustained life threatening injuries.

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SEATTLE — Mayor Mike McGinn on Monday praised the response time of Seattle police officers after the morning’s downtown bus shooting.

mcginn5“There were two officers right on the scene when this occurred,” McGinn said at a news conference.

It was just a few weeks ago that a group of downtown business leaders criticized the mayor for allegedly letting downtown violence get out of hand, and urged him to hire more officers.

That plea for more cops came on July 31 in a long and strongly worded letter to the mayor outlining a series of recent problems, including alarming details of eight separate beatings and assaults in the downtown core in just the past few months.

“There’s just too much of it,” said Kate Joncas, president of the Downtown Seattle Association, said in the letter.  “You look at that list, any citizen would say this is not acceptable for my neighborhood.”

Joncas and other leaders called on the mayor to hire more downtown officers.  “We don’t have enough police on the streets,” she said.

On Monday, McGinn commended the Seattle Police Department’s seven-minute response time from when the first calls came in of a Metro bus shooting to when the suspect was taken down.  But he also made clear that the city is moving on the requests of the downtown business leaders.

“We’re going to have 30 more (officers) by next year,” McGinn said about the plan for more cops.  “So, we’re working to be responsive to their concerns.”

On Monday, the DSA sent out a short statement praising the police department’s “response” and said it awaits more details of the event.

Of the eight incidents that the DSA cited in its July letter, the Seattle Police Department said, arrests were made immediately in four of those cases, just like in Monday’s case.

So, the message Monday from SPD is that they are on it.

But it’s fair to say that the issue of downtown safety — what’s being done, what should be done — isn’t going away. You can bet it’s going to be part of the mayoral election race.

SEATTLE — A bustling Monday morning rush-hour crowd in downtown Seattle was stunned by the sound of gunfire on a packed Metro bus.

seattle bus shootingWitnesses saw the bus driver and a would-be passenger arguing at Third and Union.

“When I was going up to the bus, I could see them hitting at each other and then pop, pop, pop,” Richard Gray said of the altercation and then of the man opening fire on the bus driver.

Another witness said, “He 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.”

The gunman shot the 64-year-old bus driver, Deloy Dupuis, twice.  He was treated for his wounds at Harborview Medical Center and released Monday afternoon.

Interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel described the scene in the seconds after the gun was fired.  “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.’ “

Witnesses say the gunman then took off running, with officers close behind.  Cops say the gunman tried to get into several vehicles during the chase but couldn’t and kept running with the weapon still in hand.

Kip Green was running away at the time. “You can’t help people when someone pulls out firearms,” Green said. “You better run and then call somebody to help.”


Suspected gunman Martin A. Duckworth, 31, died after being shot by Seattle police officers on Metro bus.

The gunman then jumped on board a different Metro bus at Second and Seneca as police closed in.

Passengers on that crowded bus jumped out the back as police drew their weapons.  Once riders were clear, officers, using their own patrol cars as shields, fired multiple rounds at the gunman, striking him.

Kari Courtade saw the entire thing from the safety of her office 18 floors above.

“Oh my God,” Courtrade said. “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.”

Police say officers used deadly force only because they had no other option. They shot the gunman several times only after he raised his weapon at them.

Police confirmed Monday afternoon that the gunman, identified as Martin A. Duckworth, 31, died of his injuries at Harborview Medical Center.

SEATTLE — Every day, hundreds of thousands of people ride King County Metro buses.  They are commuters who may be exploring other options after Monday morning’s shooting.

KCMETROBUS“It makes me frightened, scared and makes you not want to get on the bus,” rider Yolanda Cabrera said.

Consider the recent history of violent encounters aboard Metro buses. In April, two passengers were stabbed on a bus in Beacon Hill.  Many others have been robbed and beaten, including a blind woman.

It’s not just riders who have been targets, but people waiting at bus shelters or in tunnels.  In 2010, a teen was jumped by a group of girls, repeatedly kicked in the head while Metro security stood by and did nothing.

King County Executive Dow Constantine called Monday morning’s events an isolated incident, but riders say they want to see more security on board.

“It would make me feel safer knowing we have people on the bus to protect us in case anything happens, whether it’s a shooting, stabbing or anything,” said James Bunce.

There are currently 100 Metro and Sound Transit officers charged with protecting the commuting public, but is that enough?

“We use those resources to be on and around the coaches as much as possible and the bus zones and various transit centers focusing on where high-probability issues are occurring so we can intervene when best possible,” said Metro Chief of Police Dave Jutilla.

Drivers have also been victims.  In 2010, a group of teens beat a Metro driver unconscious in Tukwila. That incident sparked the Amalgamated Transit Union to begin a pilot program to better protect their members.  They installed 30 enclosures around drivers’ seats, but they eventually voted to do away with them.

“The executive board voted not to install the shields for a host of reasons, including glare, obstructions, and a change in the relationship with the operator and the passengers that we thought would cause more problems, not solve problems,” said the union’s president, Paul Bachtel.

Right now 40% of all Metro buses have security cameras on them.  That is up from 25% in 2010.

Local News

Metro bus driver shot; suspect killed by police

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: 

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.


metro bus shooting1

Seattle shooting

metro bus shooting1SEATTLE — Hours after a Metro driver was shot on a bus Monday, Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine and interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel tried to assure residents that mass transit is safe to use.

Constantine called it an “isolated incident.”

The driver suffered non-life threatening injuries after he was shot twice by a passenger in downtown Seattle shortly after 8:45 a.m. He was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.

Pugel said the suspect and two others attempted to board a bus on 3rd Avenue between Union and University Streets from the rear. When the driver told the suspect and the other two passengers to board at the front of the bus to pay their fare, the suspect started fidgeting and then approached the driver, shooting the 64-year-old man in the torso and cheek, Pugel said.

It is not known if the driver was in his seat when he was shot.

Officers were in the vicinity and responded quickly to the scene. The driver was transported with non-life threatening injuries to Harborview Medical Center.

Police said the suspect stayed on the bus for a short period of time after the shooting before fleeing southbound on University Street. As he was fleeing, Pugel said, the suspect — who is in his 30s or 40s — waived his weapon. Various witnesses told police they heard a “clicking” sound, but it is unknown at this time if the suspect actually opened fire on officers who responded to the scene.

He then boarded another bus and that was when officers fired on the suspect. He sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

Pugel defended officers’ actions of shooting the suspect while passengers were on board the bus, saying that officers were aware the suspect was a “dangerous, assaultive felon” and that they needed to stop a “lethal threat.” He said that officers believed the backdrop was “secure” enough for them to fire without harming any bystanders.

Pugel would not confirm the identity of the suspect, stating that police have been unable to fingerprint him while he is receiving medical care.

“There is still a lot we do not know,” Pugel said in regard to the particulars of the incident. He said that the entire incident unfolded in about seven minutes.

Pugel said two passengers from the second bus sustained minor injuries, mostly “bruising”; one police officer was treated for minor injuries believed to have been caused by breaking glass and another officer was treated for a medical condition.

Police are examining video footage from each of the buses involved, as well as reviewing witness video and surveillance footage from nearby businesses.

Paul Bachtel with King County Metro said there was no plan to arm bus drivers.