MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An off-duty security guard is now charged with attempted murder after police say he shot a school bus driver in a fit of road rage.
Kenneth Walter Lilly, 31, can be seen on traffic camera video driving two vehicles ahead of the bus, in snowy traffic, moving at a crawl.
Suddenly, his vehicle pulls to a stop along Interstate 94 and 35W near downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday afternoon. That’s when he steps from his car and walks back to the school bus and begins shooting into the windshield.
“You almost run out of ways to describe what went on here, it’s just horrific,” Chief Deputy Hennepin County Attorney David Brown said.
On Thursday, Brown’s office charged Lilly with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.
Press Conference On I-35W School Bus Shooting
Investigators say Lilly fired five rounds from a semi-automatic 9-millimeter pistol. Two of the bullets struck the 78-year-old male bus driver in the head and left arm. He is recovering from the non-life threatening injuries.
“We’re there to make that scene safe, but as far as the mindset of the individual at this time, I do not have any information on that,” Minneapolis Police Chief Mederia Arradondo said.
According to the criminal complaint, the two vehicles brushed together moments earlier as the bus was merging onto the snowy freeway. The bus driver told investigators that he was unaware they’d hit. Orange paint was observed on Lilly’s sedan.
Lilly has worked as an armed guard for Brooklyn Center based, Statewide Protective Agency since 2015. The company’s president, Troy Nadeau, said he doesn’t know where the violent behavior came from, adding that Lilly “had a clean file,” and was “a good guy who was always on time.”
“These bullets travel an awful long way and the thought that another innocent bystander is hit by one of these bullets just scares everybody,” Brown said.
Lilly apparently told troopers that he feared for his safety as he approached the doorway of the bus. However the evidence clearly shows that he had moved into a position of safety when the shots were fired. That would indicate that the only fear was felt by an elderly bus driver and 8-year-old child.
Lilly will appear in Hennepin County Court on Friday. Prosecutors are requesting his bail be set at $500,000.