LEBEC, Calif. (AP) — A gunman opened fire aboard a packed Greyhound bus as it was traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco early Monday, killing one passenger and wounding five others before the driver pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway and managed to force the killer off, authorities said.
The suspect was taken into custody without incident, and the motive was not immediately known, said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Brian Pennings.
The dead passenger was identified as a 51-year-old woman from Colombia. Two victims were hospitalized with serious injuries, Pennings said.
The shooting took place shortly before 1:30 a.m. in the small community of Lebec, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles, as the bus was traveling along a mountainous stretch of Interstate 5 with 43 people aboard, authorities said.
“The driver of the bus immediately pulled to the right shoulder and somehow — we’re still trying to figure out to how this happened — were able to coerce the suspect off of the bus,” Pennings said.
After leaving the gunman behind, the driver continued on to the next exit and pulled into a gas station parking lot. “His actions were very appropriate and one could say heroic,” Pennings said.
Highway patrol officers found the suspect a few minutes later. A handgun believed to have been used in the shooting had been left on the bus, Pennings said.
The names of the suspect and the victims were not immediately released.
The shooting happened when the bus was at the top of Tejon Pass, which rises to an elevation of more than 4,100 feet (1,250 meters) in Lebec.
Greyhound prohibits passengers from bringing guns, explosives or dangerous chemicals on board its buses or in their luggage, according to its website. The company did not immediately respond to a query about security on its buses.