A school bus driver bringing children home was shot in the head, suffering a graze wound, Friday evening in the West Garfield Park neighborhood.
The 31-year-old man was driving a bus with 32 students and a chaperone on board at 5:33 p.m. in the 4300 block of West Jackson when a gunman fired shots from outside the bus, police said. The driver wasn’t a target but was hit by a stray bullet. None of the children was hurt.
The bus was one of two bringing students home after a work study program at Christ the King College Preparatory School.
Destini Smalls, a junior at Christ the King, said she got on the first of two buses leaving Christ the King. She and her classmates were unaware of what happened on the second bus behind them until panicked relatives began calling them.
“I’m shocked, but then I’m not, because I know about the violence that happens in the city. I’m glad I wasn’t on that bus. It could have been me that had to witness that,” Smalls said. The school was expected to provide counselors to students on Monday.
The driver was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and was in good condition, police said.
Police cordoned off a block on Jackson as well as nearby Kildare, where a gray four-day sedan parked on the street drew significant interest from detectives.
A man who was near the shooting when it happened, Woodrow Wilson, approached the crime scene tape furtively Friday, asking reporters what happened.“I was driving through about two hours ago, coming home from work, and I heard shots like pop-pop-pop-pop — like 10, 20 shots,” Wilson said.“I took off down that alley. I didn’t know a bus driver got shot. That could’ve been me.”