An MTA bus driver was shot on Sunday morning on Santa Monica Boulevard at West Knoll.
The driver was killed, according to council member John Duran and Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Witnesses reported that the suspect shot the bus driver then got off the bus with hands in the air and waited for Sheriff’s Deputies to arrive. The bus rolled backwards and hit a few parked cars.
The incident happened at about 9:10AM this morning just steps away from MTA’s bus yard. A supervisor near the scene preparing for the AMGEN bike race street closures happened to see the bus roll backward and ran to the bus to see what the problem was.
Immediately after the incident, witnesses saw a male Black adult climb from a window on the bus and run toward Santa Monica Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard.
West Hollywood deputies arrived at the scene and saw the bus operator suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper torso. They were on the scene within minutes and quickly took the suspect into custody without incident. Witnesses were then asked to identify the shooter.
“The suspect shot the bus driver [then] got off bus with hands in air and waited for cops,” said Donna Brook. The “bus rolled backwards into parked cars.”
“WeHo cops surrounded a bus on Santa Monica Blvd and La Cienega,” said Austin Watkins. “I heard them say victim is bleeding out and they are looking for shooter.”
The victim, who has not yet been identified, was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, during the investigation two firearms were recovered from the inside of the bus. NBC LA reports that the weapon used was a shotgun. Another source confirms to Weho Daily that a shotgun was used in the incident.
There were no immediately known personal ties between the suspect and the victim, according to NBC LA, and a motive was not yet known.
Santa Monica Boulevard was closed around the incident between Westmount and La Cienega for an investigation. Homicide detectives were en route to the scene by about 10:30AM.
Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau detectives are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
The suspect is currently being held at the West Hollywood Station.
A bomb squad was requested and deployed to the bus at 3PM to check on a suspicious package as the suspect left some belongings behind. No bomb was found and the scene was turned back over to homicide detectives around 4:30PM.
Homicide detectives were preparing to have the bus towed from the scene at about 6PM.
No further details were immediately available.
This is the second murder within less than 48 hours in the area. A man was stabbed to death on Orlando early Saturday morning. A suspect in the Orlando incident is also in custody.