MINNEAPOLIS — A man who allegedly shot at a school bus and wounded the bus driver following a minor traffic incident was charged with attempted murder on Thursday.
Kenneth Lilly, 31, was charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault, according to a news release from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
According to the criminal complaint, just after 2 p.m. on Feb. 5, Minneapolis police were called to a shooting on Interstate 35W near Chicago Ave. and the split with Interstate 94, according to the attorney’s office. Lilly was in his security guard uniform and the bus driver was taken by ambulance for a wound to his left arm and graze wound of his head.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told CNN that the bus driver is expected to survive, and that an 8-year-old student who was on the bus at the time was not hurt.
“The actions of Mr. Lilly were outrageous and it was sheer luck that neither the bus driver nor the little girl were killed,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “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.”
The complaint states that the bus driver was attempting to merge onto the interstate in inclement weather when the bus apparently scraped Lilly’s black sedan, according to the attorney’s office. The bus driver said he was unaware he had hit anything, but there was some paint from the bus on the car.
Near the interstate split, Lilly stopped his car in the lane of traffic, got out, and walked toward the bus. A truck between the two vehicles pulled into the next lane and left. Lilly kept walking until he got to the passenger door of the bus and tried to board the bus, according to the complaint. The driver told Lilly he could not come in because there was a child onboard.
Video showed Lilly walking toward the front driver’s side of the bus as it appeared to slowly pull into traffic. The complaint states that after getting to the driver’s side of the bus, Lilly pulled out a 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol, walked back to the front of the bus, and fired five shots at the bus windshield, according to the attorney’s office.
After shooting, Lilly walked to the driver’s side of the bus and called 911. Lilly told officers that he feared for his safety and that is why he shot at the bus driver, according to the attorney's office. However, according to the complaint, the video footage showed the defendant had retreated to a safe spot before walking in front of the bus and shooting.
View video from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, obtained by Minnesota Public Radio, below. (The camera zooms in on the school bus at about the 4:05 minute mark.)