LOS ANGELES, CA — A man opened fire aboard a Greyhound bus on Interstate 5 early Monday morning, killing one and wounding five others before police took him into custody, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The shooting happened just before 1:30 a.m. near Fort Tejon Road in Kern County as the bus was headed from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, police said.
According to police, 40 people were on the bus when the shooter opened fire, and the victims suffered major to moderate wounds. “Numerous” passengers on the bus called 911 to report an active shooter situation, according to California Highway Patrol spokesman Steve Loftus.
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After the shooting, the bus driver pulled over on the freeway, and the shooter got out, leaving the handgun at the scene, authorities said. The bus continued on, got off the interstate at the Grapevine Road exit and headed to a Valero gas station in Lebec, where paramedics arrived and treated the victims.
CHP Sgt. Brian Pennings said a 51-year-old woman from Colombia died aboard the bus. Her name was withheld, pending notification of her relatives. The ages, genders and conditions of the survivors were not immediately available.
Pennings said authorities arrested the suspect on the freeway shoulder near where he had gotten off the bus. The suspect’s name was not immediately released, and his motive was not immediately indicated.
Pennings praised the bus driver for his response to the gunfire.
“His (the bus driver) actions were very appropriate and one could say heroic in the sense that he immediately pulled to the right shoulder, and the sequence of events that ultimately resulted in the suspect exiting the bus without the weapon, the bus driver was instrumental in all of that,” Pennings said.
He added that authorities recovered a semi-automatic 9 mm pistol and several extra magazines.
The gas station in Lebec was cordoned off, according to KBAK Fox58 in Bakersfield. In addition, the Grapevine Road on and off ramps on the 5 Freeway were closed at 3:02 a.m. according to the CHP website.
Arrangements were being made to take the remaining passengers to their destinations.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone and every family member impacted by the incident today,” Crystal Booker of Greyhound said in a statement. “We are gathering details. … What we do know at this time is that the incident involved schedule 6848-1, traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco …”
City News Service and Patch Staffer Paige Austin contributed to this report.