MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Patrol has released transcripts for the 911 calls made after the shooting of a bus driver on I-35W in Minneapolis, including from the suspected shooter.
Thirty-one-year-old Kenneth Lilly is charged with second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in connection to the Feb. 5 incident. He’s accused of shooting a bus driver multiple times after a traffic collision.
On Wednesday, the state patrol released 911 transcripts from a witness and the suspected shooter, Lilly.
In one of the transcripts, a witness driving by the scene reported the shooting.
“There was a … school bus, like a small school bus and a car that were just involved in an accident. It looked like the bus was refusing to pull over. The driver of the other car got out wearing what looked like possibly some sort of security uniform and I’m pretty sure he just fired multiple shots into the ground from a pistol,” the caller said.
The witness says the driver of the Toyota Camry, later identified as Lilly, “pulled forward and then he cut off the bus.”
“The guy in the security outfit is trying to get on the bus and the bus driver, it looked like the bus driver was not going to let him on the bus. And then as I passed I heard, what I’m pretty confident is multiple gunshots,” the caller said.
The other transcript was from Lilly. He told dispatch that he was in an accident with the bus driver and then tried to get information.
“I had an accident with a bus driver. I got out, I tried to get his information. He tried to drive past me, nearly ran me over and then a self-defense incident occurred because he tried to run me over. So shots have been fired,” Lilly said.
Lilly said he was “a little shaken” because he was nearly run over by a bus. When asked if there was anyone on the bus, Lilly said “I don’t think so. I think he’s just driving by himself. Some old guy.” Lilly then tells dispatch that his gun is in its holster on his person.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson who is not involved in the case said the transcript provides evidence that could be used in support of a self-defense claim.
“What he’s saying in this transcript is the bus driver was trying to run him over and he had to shoot in self-defense because he was in fear he was going to be killed or seriously hurt,” Nelson said.
At one point in the video, you see the bus move forward. Nelson said the bus driver’s actions may not be an issue. Self defense boils down to what Lilly reasonably thought was happening. In his 911 call, Lilly mentions being nearly run over four times.
“It is limited to it has to be a reasonable use of force, to be a reasonable perception that you were going to be attacked or some offense was going to be committed upon you. He has a duty to retreat, you can only use self-defense if you have honored the duty to retreat,” Nelson said.
The criminal complaint charging Lilly with second-degree assault and attempted murder says video footage shows Lilly “retreating to a safe spot before walking back in front of the bus to commence shooting.”
Lilly’s next court appearance is set for March 8 at 9 a.m.