Bus driver’s quick thinking praised as shooting investigation goes forward

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Area Transit Authority is praising one of its drivers for his quick-thinking and fast-acting following a shooting on his bus Tuesday night.

Police say the driver did more than the listed duties of a bus operator Tuesday, when someone pointed a gun into his bus and opened fire, near 39th and Chestnut. Investigators say shortly after 5 p.m., a person walking outside the bus fired a gun inside and aimed at a male passenger, instead striking the 15-year-old female that was with him. That’s when the quick-thinking driver took action.

KCATA Senior Manager of Operations Support and Programs Gaylord Salisbury said the driver’s actions saved, or likely saved, the lives of people on the bus.

“He made the decision to move away from where the gunshots were happening immediately, and then he also made the decision to turn off of the route so that that bus wouldn’t be along the line where that person might come back and do it again,” Salisbury said.

Police put up caution tape and talked with witnesses, who told officers there were about 10 people on the bus. Paramedics took the girl to a hospital, and as of Tuesday night she was in stable condition. The shooting remained top of mind for KCATA employees.

“They’re concerned about the person. We all are concerned about the woman who was shot. We’re also concerned about making sure that we are doing what we can to support the police as they go through the investigation,” said Salisbury.

Police say this was a targeted shooting, not a random act.

“Thankfully this is not something that happens on a regular basis. Hopefully this is something that continues to be a very rare occurrence,” Salisbury said

Police haven’t yet released the report with additional facts and the victim’s name. They’re also holding onto the surveillance video from inside the bus for the safety of the bus riders and those involved. Police haven’t arrested anyone yet, but are working hard to close any gaps in the case. They ask you to call (816) 474-TIPS with information.