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Bus Driver Hailed As Hero For Saving Passengers Despite Being Shot In 'Random' Seattle Attack That Left 2 Dead
Bus driver Eric Stark “acted heroically in the face of extreme adversity to protect his passengers" after a 33-year-old suspect opened fire on the street.
A man opened fire on motorists in a Seattle neighborhood in what authorities are calling a “random” attack that left two dead and two injured Wednesday afternoon.
One man was fatally shot and another killed in an automobile crash, authorities said. Two other people were shot but survived, including the driver of a Metro bus.
“We believe it’s a random, senseless act,” Deputy Police Chief Marc Garth Green told reporters. “We’re outraged at what this suspect did.”
The chaotic scene unfolded in north Seattle just after 4 p.m. Police said that a man approached a 56-year-old female driver in the street and shot her.
He then walked on and fired shots at a Metro bus, striking the driver, who was able to turn the vehicle around and drive away, authorities said.
The gunman then approached a second motorist and opened fire, killing a 50-year-old man. After police arrived, the suspect fled in the victim’s vehicle, police said. He drove a few blocks and then collided with another car, killing the 70-year-old male driver, fire officials said.
The 33-year-old suspect was taken into custody after a brief standoff. He was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, police said.
John Barrett told KOMO-TV he was inside his garage working when he heard what sounded like fire crackers.
He said he went outside and saw a man with a gun pointing it at people.
“He was walking down Sand Point Way just firing at anything just without any regard, just kept firing,” Barrett said.
King County Metro said on Twitter that at 4:05 p.m. a bus operator on Metro Route 75 hit their emergency alarm and reported he had been shot. None of the passengers on board was injured, the agency said.
The bus driver was hit in the torso, but able to walk to a gurney to be taken to a hospital by paramedics, said Kenneth Price, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587.
King County Executive Dow Constantine identified the wounded bus driver as 53-year-old Eric Stark, who has worked for King County Metro for seven years.
He “acted heroically in the face of extreme adversity to protect his passengers,” Constantine said.
Susan Gregg, spokeswoman at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, said her facility had received a man and woman in their 50s, and a 33-year-old man following the shooting and crash.
She said none suffered life-threatening injuries.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Constantine and other city leaders said Wednesday evening they are grieving with the loved ones of the men killed and pledged to support the two people who were injured.
“Our thoughts now are with families of those killed and those injured,” Durkan said. “The entire city of Seattle is pulling for them.”
The mayor also said everyone must work to end senseless gun violence. “It is time for the violence not to be the thing that pulls us together.”