FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Two people were killed, two others were injured and a man was arrested after, police said, they were shot inside a Broward County Transit bus in Fort Lauderdale.
As a result of the incident, a car crash occurred, leaving three other people injured. Paramedics treated them at the scene.
Investigators said four people were shot as the bus was heading westbound along the 1100 block of Broward Boulevard, at around 3:30 p.m., Thursday.
“We received a radio report of an active shooter on a bus here at Fort Lauderdale Police Department,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan.
The bus driver told police she headed to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, located along the 1300 block, after she heard gunfire inside the bus.
“Our preliminary investigation [found] that, as the bus was driving, it was pinned in and could not cross Broward Boulevard,” said FLPD Acting Chief Luis Alvarez.
Police said the bus driver frantically jumped over the median and into oncoming eastbound traffic.
“The driver then forced the county bus past the vehicle that was blocking her and forced its way into the front of the police station,” said Alvarez.
“I just seen the bus coming the wrong direction,” said witness Major Harris. “Imagine, like, you driving and you see the bus coming straight at you head-to-head, you know what I’m saying? That’s scary.”
Surveillance video captured the bus as the driver weaved into traffic, dodged cars and narrowly missed a bicyclist.
Investigators said the bus collided with an SUV and a taxi cab before she was able to pull into the parking lot of the police station.
Witnesses described the chaotic moments.
“I was outside, and I just saw the bus driving on the wrong side of the road, and once it passed 11th Avenue, I’m like, ‘Why are they driving on the wrong side of the road?'” said a woman. “The bus hit one car, then hit the other car, and then it just drove up into the police station.”
“I told my girl, ‘I think something happened inside the bus,'” Harris said. “We trying to move out the way as fast as possible. I got our babies in the car and everything. I tried to get out the way fast as I can.”
Tiffany Hunter said her brother was riding in the taxi cab.
“He saw the bus coming toward the taxi, and when the bus came toward him and hit him, he said he was in shock,” she said.
Alvarez said a police officer who happened to be in front of the station heard the gunfire and came to the parking lot. Additional officers rushed to the scene moments later.
“Upon arrival, Fort Lauderdale Police officers were actively administering medical care to the individuals that had been shot on the bus,” said Gollan. “As our crews made their way, they determined one individual, an adult, was deceased on the bus.”
“The police just started running out with their guns and everything and started letting the people out of the bus,” said the woman who witnessed the crash.
Police said the gunman walked off the bus and surrendered in the parking lot of the police department.
Just after 3:40 p.m., 7SkyForce hovered above the scene as officers surrounded the bus with crime scene tape to investigate. The suspect was seen being taken into custody several feet from the bus.
7News cameras showed bullet holes on the front windshield of the bus and evidence markers inside.
Police said they recovered a gun at the scene.
Paramedics transported the three other shooting victims to Broward Health Medical Center, where a second victim succumbed to their injuries.
One of the surviving victims is listed in critical condition, and the other is listed in fair condition.
The suspect was later transported to Broward Health Medical Center. The extent of his injuries is unclear.
Hunter said her brother also heard the gunshots and panicked.
“He just left the scene, and I drove him here to the hospital,” she said.
At around 4 p.m., Thursday, 7News cameras captured the two vehicles that were involved in a crash.
Officials said the bus driver was not hurt.
FLPD Acting Chief Luis Alvarez praised the driver for her quick thinking under extreme circumstances.
“I can tell you that the bus driver in this particular case, her quick actions, I am sure, saved lives,” he said, “so kudos to her. She deserves to be applauded for her actions.”
“She pulled up in there like she knew where she was going,” said the woman who witnessed the crash. “She pulled up there, and as soon as she pulled up, police started coming out everywhere.”
7SkyForce captured three bullet casing markers next to the parked transit bus.
Hunter said her brother’s knee is fractured, but she knows he’s lucky to be alive, as well as the passengers who were seen walking off the bus in sheer disbelief.
“I’m still in shock, and I’m still hurting for the people that got shot,” she said.
“I thought I was crazy, but I thought I heard a shot,” said Darnell Coles who was in a taxi at the time of the incident. “I was riding in the taxi, and all of a sudden we came to a stop, and then I looked and the bus was coming towards us.”
Coles said he was in such a panic that he took off.
“Once I looked back, and I seen the bus turn into the police station, I knew it had to be a serious situation,” he said. “It’s really bad how people out here hurting each other. It’s so serious, man.”
He also said he’s been dealing with some aches and pains but knows he’s lucky to be alive.
Officers shut down Broward Boulevard between Palm Avenue and Southwest 14th Avenue for hours while they investigated.
Late Thursday night, the bus remained in the parking lot of the police station, partially covered with a yellow tarp.
Police have not released the victims’ names, as they attempt to determine a motive behind the shooting.
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