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Shots are fired at school bus in South KC

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 3:35 PM


He tries to board, is refused, then opens fire as it drives away. No injuries are reported.


A person turned away from a school bus ride in south Kansas City on Wednesday morning fired shots at the bus as it rumbled away, police said.


No bullets hit the bus or its passengers, police said.


Witnesses told police the gunman tried to board the bus bound for Ruskin High School but was denied a ride because the driver didn’t recognize him as a regular rider. He begged for a ride, pretended to fumble through his belongings for his student ID card and offered to pay the driver $20, but she still refused.


The driver told him he needed to get off the bus so she could continue her route. He was polite throughout the encounter and even ended their conversation by saying “Thank you,” according to John Baccala, spokesman for the Hickman Mills School District.


After the gunman exited the bus, and as the bus was pulling off, he fired several shots at it. The driver and students didn’t notice, police said.


Other students waiting nearby for a different bus, however, saw the shooting. Police later found shell casings that indicated the gun was a “very small caliber handgun,” Baccala said.


The incident happened about 6:55 a.m. near East 93rd Street and Cleveland Avenue. Investigators were reviewing surveillance video from the bus and trying to determine if the gunman was a Ruskin student. Witnesses told police he appeared to be of high school age, but students on the bus who were in a position to see him did not recognize him, Baccala said.


The bus driver followed proper safety measures, Baccala said.


Bus drivers know who is supposed to be riding their buses. If they don’t recognize someone trying to board, they are supposed to ask to see a student identification badge. All students in Ruskin High School and the district’s middle and junior high schools are required to carry IDs.


If the gunman had somehow gotten to Ruskin, he would have faced passing through a metal detector to get inside, Baccala said.


School officials will be extra vigilant, Baccala said, but he knew of no additional safety procedures being put in place.


“You do everything you can to be safe,” Baccala said. “We’re thankful it wasn’t any worse than it was.”


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Categories: School Bus