Metro bus driver fatally shot by passenger in LA

May 21, 2012 - 12:35 AM

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — A bus driver was shot to death in West Hollywood Sunday, allegedly by a passenger who jumped out a vehicle window and fled down a street before being captured, authorities said.

The driver, whose name was not released, was hit in the torso and died at a local hospital, said sheriff's Deputy Jeff Gordon.

Witnesses told police they saw the shooter climb out a window and run down the street. A suspect was arrested nearby, and Gordon said the man surrendered without incident.

He was held Sunday night at the West Hollywood sheriff's station while homicide detectives continued to investigate. His name was not immediately released.

Gordon said authorities believe the gunman and the driver were the only people on the bus at the time of the shooting.

He said the vehicle, which was on its regular run through the neighborhood, appeared to have stopped alongside a curb just before the driver was attacked.

Authorities didn't immediately give a motive for the 9 a.m. PDT shooting.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials were stunned by the shooting, which occurred just blocks from the route of Sunday's Amgen Tour of California bicycle race.

"It's the first time I've ever known this to happen in my career here," the MTA's chief executive officer, Art Leahy, told the Los Angeles Times.

The street where the shooting occurred, busy Santa Monica Boulevard, was closed for hours as TV news video showed police searching the bus.

Two firearms were recovered.