“This bus driver truly is a hero,” a Seattle Police Department representative said, CBS reported. “He was able to have the wherewithal to put the bus in reverse, back it up, turn it around, which is no easy feat in and of itself.”
Metro bus driver Eric Stark was hit in the chest by gunfire in a mass shooting on a Seattle street on March 27 at around 4 p.m.
Despite his wounds, Stark managed to get all 12 passengers to safety.
‘He Acted Heroically’
King County Executive Dow Constantine was cited by NBC as saying that Stark described the incident from his hospital bed, saying the gunman fired at the bus without warning.
“He acted heroically and put the well-being of his passengers above all else,” Constantine said of the seven-year-veteran of Metro bus services.
Speaking to reporters from the Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, Stark described the moments after getting shot in the torso.
“I ducked down really quick for some cover, did like a two-second assessment of my injuries and figured—well, I can breathe, I can think, I can see, and I can talk,” Stark said from his hospital room. “So for me that was enough to go, ‘OK, we’re getting out of here. I’ve gotta get these people out of here.’”
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also praised Stark, The Associated Press reported, saying he “saved lives and took action even after being harmed.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a tweet that he and his wife, Trudi, “are pulling for those injured, grieving for those who were killed, and appreciating the bravery of all who responded and took action to stop the shooter.”
Horrible news. As we await more information, Trudi and I are pulling for those injured, grieving for those who were killed, and appreciating the bravery of all who responded and took action to stop the shooter. https://t.co/c1ZulY065n
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) March 28, 2019
Stark told ABC’s “Good Morning America,” he was just doing his job and “It’s what any other driver would be able to do if they were physically able.”
Deadly Shooting Spree
A man opened fire on motorists in a Seattle neighborhood in what authorities have called a “random” attack.
“It didn’t matter who you were. He was going to shoot you if he saw you,” one witness told CBS.
Investigators said the gunman tried to carjack several people and shot at multiple drivers, leaving two dead and two wounded.
One of the victims was killed by gunfire. The second—a 70-year-old man—died after the gunman plowed into his car with a hijacked vehicle.
Two other people were shot but survived, including Stark.
“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 suspect was taken into custody after a brief standoff.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.