One person is dead after a man opened fire while on board a Greyhound bus that was headed from Los Angeles to the Bay Area on the Golden State (5) Freeway, early Monday morning, authorities said.
The suspect opened fire while the bus was traveling on the 5 Freeway near Fort Tejon Road in Kern County, Steve Loftus, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said. Around 40 people were on board, and six people were shot, one fatally, authorities said. There were 42 people on board the bus when the shooting began, officials said. Police began receiving calls about the shooting from passengers at around 1:30 a.m. local time, officials said.
Following the shooting, the bus driver pulled over on the freeway shoulder, allowing the suspect get off the bus. The driver then pulled off and stopped a Valero gas station to help passengers get treated for their wounds.
“His (the bus driver) actions were very appropriate and one could say heroic in the sense that he immediately pulled to the right shoulder, and the sequence of events that ultimately resulted in the suspect exiting the bus without the weapon, the bus driver was instrumental in all of that,” CHP Sgt. Brian Pennings said.
The motive for the shooting remains unclear.
A 51-year-old woman from Colombia died while on board the bus, a CHP spokesperson said. Her name is being withheld pending notification of her relatives.
Authorities were able to recover a semi-automatic 9 mm pistol along with several extra magazines.
The five wounded victims suffered injuries that ranged from moderate to critical. One person was airlifted to a local hospital.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone and every family member impacted by the incident today,” Crystal Booker of Greyhound said in a statement. “We are gathering details. ... What we do know at this time is that the incident involved schedule 6848-1, traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco.”
Arrangements are being made to take the remaining passengers on to their destination
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