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Bus driver hailed as hero after North Seattle shooting: ‘Thank God no one on my bus was hurt’

SEATTLE -- A Metro bus driver continues to recover after he was shot when a gunman opened fire on vehicles in North Seattle.

Eric Stark was shot in the chest while driving a route 75 bus Wednesday afternoon.

Police say a gunman opened fire on the southbound bus after shooting and injuring a 56-year-old woman who was also driving in the area of in the area of Sand Point Way NE and Bartlett Avenue.

Stark was hailed as a hero after officials say he moved his bus and its passengers to safety after being shot.

In a hospital bed recovering, Stark recounted the moment a man pointed a gun at his bus full of people and began to fire.

"Very calmly took aim, I heard the report of the gun, and saw the glass come through the windshield and felt the bullet hit me," he said.

Stark says in this moment only one thing went through his mind.

"I don't want to die today, and I don't want these people to die today."

With a bullet in his chest, Stark used one hand to turn his bus around.

He got the bus, and the dozen passengers inside to safety.  Even after doing so, he still wishes he could have done more.

"The thing that bothers me the most about this is I knew that if we got out of there, if we were no longer a target, [the gunman] was going to go after someone else," Stark told Q13 News Friday.  "And he did, and that upsets me and there’s nothing I can do. I did the best thing I could do at the time, and thank God no one on my bus was hurt."

Tad-Michael Norman, the man who authorities say opened fire on the bus and other vehicles before stealing a car and crashing in North Seattle was charged Friday with murder and attempted murder.  Seventy-six-year-old Robert Michael Hassan was fatally shot and 76-year-old Richard Thurber Lee died in a crash after the shootings.

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