SEPTA Gunmen face attempted murder

PHILADELPHIA - August 5, 2011

Surveillance video shows several men pulling guns and opening fire on the bus last month. They allegedly launched the assault because a passenger criticized a female passenger for disciplining her child. That woman is also facing charges.

Authorities say what ends in a cold-blooded ambush started innocently about 8 minutes earlier when 20-year-old Penny Chapman woman boarded the 47 bus with her little boy.

They headed down the aisle and mom sat down - her child was energetic. A man in a Phillies shirt, Lefenus Pickett, watches and seems to play with the boy, according to security camera recordings from the SEPTA bus.

Mom, at one point, swats the little one's backside, hard enough that Pickett testified in court: "I told her 'That's child abuse. That's a little boy.'"

After some words, Chapman made a cell call. The bus continued chugging north on 7th and things turned violent at Cecil B. Moore.

Chapman and the child exit and are met by a friend that authorities identified as Angel Lecourt. He holds the door open as two armed men approach with what appears to be a rifle and pistol.

Pickett realizes he is being targeted and bolts to the front of the bus, where he is joined by horrified fellow riders who huddle as the bullets blast through the bus windows.

The shooters fire wildly while retreating and the bus driver hits the gas and heads for Temple Hospital while calling police.

The incident happened June 18th. Many on today's SEPTA 47 bus told Action News they had not heard of the attack. Those who had just sort of shrugged in reaction."Well it's an everyday thing."

"That's rough. Things are dangerous in this world. You never know what is going on."

Amazingly no one on the bus was shot. About a 1/3 of SEPTA's fleet now has onboard surveillance cameras. Some 26th district police officers recognized the attackers from the video, and that lead to the arrests on attempted murder and conspiracy.

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