School bus with 36 students on board shot up as man flees police in Delaware

ByChad Pradelli and Cheryl Mettendorf WPVI logo
Friday, December 2, 2022
School bus with 36 students on board shot up as man flees police
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A school bus with dozens of students on board was hit by gunfire during a gun battle and police chase in Delaware on Friday.

NEWPORT, Delaware (WPVI) -- A school bus with dozens of students on board was hit by gunfire during a gun battle and police chase that spanned a large part of New Castle County, Delaware on Friday.

The shooting was captured on video.

It all began when officers responded to the area of Route 141 and East Market Street around 7:30 a.m. for a report of a suspicious person with a gun.

That person fled and gunfire erupted. A bus carrying 36 DelCastle Technical High School students was hit by bullets.

The bus was at a stop sign, ready to make a right turn, when the shots were fired.

Three bullets hit the bus, with one penetrating and lodging in the bus driver's armrest. The bus driver drove away from the shooting scene calmly and safely.

"As soon as she realized something did occur she fled the scene and brought the students right to school," said Superintendent Joseph Jones.

New Castle County Vocational School District officials said one student even checked the driver for injuries.

Once at DelCastle Technical High School, students were ushered into the auditorium.

Parents were called and a few students went home. Most went about their day. Counselors were made available and an email was sent out.

"The students seemed okay; a couple of them did go home," said Jones. "We will follow up with them but their response is seemingly okay."

Police are looking to see if the bullets that hit the bus were fired by the suspect or by police.

Giancarlo Weems says his friend was on the bus and arrived at school a bit shaken up.

"It was very scary for him because it was like, by the piece of metal that saved him," said Weems. "Any lower he would've got hit."

Parents picked up their teenagers and were clearly concerned about the close call.

"It was a scary experience," said Aleshia Boyce. "I hurried up and called him and said 'what bus were you on?' even though I knew he wasn't."

Superintendent Jones says he's never experienced anything like this in his 27 years.

He calls the bus driver's actions fast-acting and heroic.

"I just learned also that the driver will still run her afternoon route to assure students that this is a safe place," added Jones.

The bus is operated by a third-party company called Knotts in New Castle. Its owner says she thanks God no one was hurt.

The suspect then led police on a chase that ended on I-95 in Newark where he was ultimately shot and killed.