Man Shot At School Bus In Road Rage Incident, Claims Self-Defense

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A Minnesota man has been jailed after he shot at a school bus in an apparent road rage incident during a snowy afternoon commute earlier this week. The 78-year-old bus driver was struck, but will survive.

According to local TV station WCCO, the shooting took place at a highway intersection near downtown Minneapolis, and was caught on traffic cameras. The video shows a man in a security guard uniform stop his car, get out, and fire several shots at the school bus.

The man surrendered once troopers arrived, and he was taken into custody without any further incidents.

Only one elementary school student was on board the bus at the time, and she was unharmed. The incident led to several 911 calls, Fox News reported, leading State Patrol to arrive on the scene quickly.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the accused shooter, 31-year-old Kenneth W. Lilly, “claimed he feared for his life,” and that the shooting followed a fender bender. However, Hennepin County’s Chief Deputy County Attorney Dave Brown told the newspaper that “we do not believe there is a self-defense claim based on the evidence we have received so far.”

Lilly has been charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, the newspaper said. The bus driver, whose name has not been released, remains hospitalized as of Thursday. Prosecutors plan to ask that Lilly be held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

According to the charging documents from the Hennepin County District Court, as cited by the Star Tribune, Lilly’s car and the bus collided as the bus driver was attempting to merge onto I-35W, just south of downtown Minneapolis. Lilly then got out of his car, walked toward the bus, and tried to get on in order to confront the driver. When the driver refused, and began attempting to drive away, Lilly began shooting. Police, once they arrived, took a nine-millimeter semiautomatic handgun from the accused shooter.

“The safety of the kids on my bus are my first priority, and I care for them as if they were my own grandkids,” the unnamed bus driver said in a statement. “I’m so thankful no one else was hurt.”

Lilly does not appear to have a prior criminal record, aside from traffic violations.

Also, state statistics cited by the newspaper show that Minnesota’s State Patrol reported 179 incidents of civilians pulling weapons in traffic disputes in 2018, as well as 170 in 2017, and 153 in 2016.