Man Who Shot School Bus Driver, Killed Teen Years Ago

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
February 9, 2019 Updated: February 9, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS—Authorities say a man charged with shooting and wounding a school bus driver in Minneapolis had fatally shot an armed teenager who was trying to rob him more than three years ago.

Thirty-one-year-old Kenneth Lilly was not charged in the 2015 incident in St. Paul, as prosecutors said the shooting of 16-year-old Lavauntai Broadbent was legally justified after the teen brandished a handgun.

Lilly is now charged with second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault in Tuesday’s shooting. A student on the school bus wasn’t injured.

Prosecutors say Lilly shot the bus driver after the bus scraped his car near downtown Minneapolis. The bus driver said he was unaware the vehicles had touched, but there was paint from the bus on the car.

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The driver of a school bus was taken to the hospital in a shooting on HWY 35 near downtown Minneapolis, on Feb. 5, 2019. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

Lilly stopped his car and tried to get on the bus but the driver refused, telling him there was a child on board.

Lilly, who was wearing his security guard uniform, pulled a handgun from his holster and fired at the bus windshield, wounding the driver’s left arm and grazing his head. Police said the wounds weren’t life-threatening.

“The actions of Mr. Lilly were outrageous and it was sheer luck that neither the bus driver nor the little girl were killed,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a news release.

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A person of interest was taken into custody after a school bus driver was shot where Interstate 35W and 94 run together near downtown Minneapolis, on Feb. 5, 2019. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

He said police are still investigating the shooting, “and if we can add aggravating circumstances for a longer sentence, should we prove him guilty, we will do so.”

According to prosecutors, Lilly called 911 after firing the shots and was arrested at the scene. He told officers that he shot at the bus driver because he had feared for his safety, but the complaint says video footage shows he had retreated to a safe spot before walking back in front of the bus to start shooting.

The complaint does not elaborate as to why Lilly might have feared for his safety. Court records don’t list an attorney for him.

His attorney, Thomas Plunkett, called Tuesday’s shooting “a complicated case.” He said that in 2015, Lilly was a crime victim and acted to save his life.

By Jeff Baenen