Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE
A yet unidentified criminal suspect shot a north Minneapolis school bus driver in the head around 2:15 pm this Wednesday afternoon as three unsuspecting children under the age of 10 reportedly looked on.
The good news is that the driver made it.
“Officers found the driver with a gunshot wound to his head, although they said that injury did not appear to be life-threatening. Officers aided the driver until paramedics arrived and drove him to a local hospital,” Minneapolis station WCCO has confirmed.
“Metropolitan Transportation Network, the company that operates the bus, said the driver’s family is with him at the hospital.”
The bad news is that the shooting may have had a traumatic impact on the children, who, thankfully, at least weren’t hurt and reportedly made it home safely.
But the worst news is that this bizarre incident was just one of many that have plagued the community in recent days, weeks and months.
Just two hours before the school bus driver shooting, in fact, a 15-year-old boy has critically wounded — also in north Minneapolis.
“A source [says] that the victim is a sophomore at North Community High School, and a member of the Polars football team. Authorities say it happened at about 12:30 p.m. near the intersection of Penn Avenue North and Golden Valley Road,” according to WCCO.
“Few details were immediately available, but investigators say that they’re seeking a suspect after they fled on foot. Police said Thursday that no arrests have been made.”
As of noon Thursday, the suspects in both cases remained unidentified and on the loose.
In a statement released on Twitter late Wednesday, Minneapolis Public Schools paid recognition to “the deep impact” the day’s events had had “on our students, staff and families.”
Our MPS community is grieving tonight after one of our students and one of our bus drivers were the victims of gun violence in two separate incidents.
Investigations are currently underway and until we have more information, we are not sharing specifics. (1/2)
— Minneapolis Public Schools (@MPS_News) February 9, 2022
For now, we recognize the deep impact this has on our students, staff and families.
Our thoughts tonight are especially with the victims’ families during this difficult time. (2/2)
— Minneapolis Public Schools (@MPS_News) February 9, 2022
Regarding the bus driver shooting, it comes amid a shortage in bus drivers that’s been driven partly by all the violence in Minneapolis.
“Minneapolis Public School bus drivers are worried about safety, for themselves and the children they transport. They’re concerned overcrowded buses could spread COVID-19. More urgently, they say some buses and drivers have been recently targeted with gunfire,” WCCO reported in late October.
“Bus drivers are responsible for getting our most precious cargo, our children, to and from school, but those who drive for Minneapolis Public Schools say their safety concerns are being dismissed.”
“It’s scary to drive here,” one local bus driver told the station.
Another driver, Sidney Nevils, reported having been fired upon just two weeks earlier: “As I approached the stop somebody shot at the bus and hit the window directly behind him. Not only was my life in danger but the children’s lives had I lost control of that bus what would have happened to those kids.”
In response to these concerns, the district reportedly offered the drivers an 11 cent raise.
Yall, the Minneapolis Public School district Told the Minneapolis Public School bus Drivers & their union…
I know y’all have a bus driver shortage. I know it’s 106 of y’all out there. We need bus drivers for these kids.
We will give you a $0.11 raise, that cool?
— I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN (@_DJLOW) October 26, 2021
Meanwhile, as the bus drivers have been suffering, students have been protesting — albeit for an entirely unrelated cause.
Local students reportedly staged a walkout and protest this Tuesday on behalf of an armed 22-year-old black man, Amir Locke, who was fatally shot by police during a Feb. 2nd no-knock warrant raid of a home whose owner, the suspect’s cousin, has been accused of homicide.
“Our message today is that we need to protect young black lives. We are humans, we deserve to live and we have hopes and dreams,” Jerome Treadwell, the executive director of MN Teen Activists, told local station KSTP during Tuesday’s protest.
Happening Now | Students are standing up for Amir Locke and demanding the following from MPD:
— Andrea Lyon 🎞 (@andrealyonnews) February 8, 2022
It appears Treadwell had nothing to say about all the other violence — namely the violence not involving police officers, not to mention the violence committed by Locke’s cousin Mekhi Speed, who wasn’t apprehended until a day later.
“A teen is under arrest and charged in a St. Paul homicide — the case that prompted police to carry out search warrants last week, during which a Minneapolis officer fatally shot Amir Locke. Mekhi Camden Speed, 17, of Minneapolis, was a cousin of Locke’s, according to second-degree murder charges filed against Speed,” The Mercury News reported Wednesday.
“Police announced Tuesday they took Speed into custody in connection with the Jan. 10 fatal shooting of Otis R. Elder, 38. Elder was found lying in the street in the 500 block of North Prior Avenue, between University Avenue and Interstate 94, in St. Paul. The charges allege Elder was shot during a robbery or attempted robbery.”
According to the paper, Speed lived in the home where Locke was fatally shot.
The teens reportedly also protested on Locke again Wednesday.
Students have arrived at Minneapolis City Hall where some say they are prepared to sit. This follows yesterdays student walkouts in St Paul and march to the Governors Mansion. They are asking for justice for Amir Locke. pic.twitter.com/cacpNTmbjS
— daviss (@daviss) February 9, 2022
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.