MINNEAPOLIS – A 911 call revealed the suspected gunman shot a Minnesota bus driver stopped in traffic during a snow storm on Feb. 5 because he feared getting run over.
Kenneth Lilly, 31, reported to police in a phone call Feb. 5 that he got in an accident with the bus driver, claimed he almost got run over by the bus when trying to get the driver’s information and fired shots out of self-defense, according to transcript obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation through the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
“I had an accident with a bus driver,” Lilly said.”I got out, I tried to get his information. He tried to drive past me, nearly ran me over and then a self-defense incident occurred because he tried to run me over. So shots have been fired.”
Lilly asked officers to send an ambulance and police. The 31-year-old did not know where the driver was hit and thought there were no passengers on the bus. Lilly told the dispatcher he was “a little shaken since I was nearly run over by a bus.”
Minneapolis police received two other calls from witnesses.
“He [bus driver] said there’s three or four bullet holes in the bus and he’s been hit in his right side and there’s a student on the bus,” one caller said, according to the transcript.
Another caller had the following exchange:
Caller: Hello. Hi I’m just, there was a, a, a school bus, like a small school bus and a car that were just involved in an accident. It looked like the bus was refusing to pull over. The driver of the other car got out wearing what looked like possibly some sort of security uniform and I’m pretty sure he just fired multiple shots into the ground from a pistol.
State Patrol Dispatcher: Where?
Caller: On 35W southbound where 94, like where they merge together.
Dispatcher: Like in the, why would, you saw him or heard him shoot?
Caller: I, I saw the two, I saw them collide. Like they, they, they collide, like they hit together side by side.
Caller: And the car, there, there was a little, the, the driver was in like a Toyota Camry I think. And he pulled forward and then he cut off the bus. He stopped in the middle lane. And at this point I’m going down 35W so they’re on 94. So as I go by I can see that the, the guy in the security outfit is trying to get on the bus and the bus driver, it looked like the bus driver was not going to let him on the bus. And then as I passed I heard, what I’m pretty confident, is multiple gunshots.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation released a video showing the encounter between Lilly and the bus driver on Feb. 6.
A criminal complaint states the bus driver was trying to “merge onto the interstate” and “was unaware of any collision.” Officials found some paint from the bus on Lilly’s car, however.
“We do not believe there is a self-defense claim based on the evidence we have received so far,” Chief Deputy County Attorney Dave Brown said, the Star Tribune reported.
The bus driver suffered two shots, one in the arm and another that “grazed the side of his head,” according to the criminal statement. An eight-year-old girl, unharmed, was in the bus during the incident.
“The actions of Mr. Lilly were outrageous and it was sheer luck that neither the bus driver nor the little girl were killed,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement Feb. 7. “Minneapolis police are continuing their investigation and if we can add aggravating circumstances for a longer sentence, should we prove him guilty, we will do so.”
Lilly was charged with second degree assault and second degree attempted murder.