Shooter of bus driver charged with attempted murder, assault
A St. Paul man was charged with attempted murder for shooting at a school bus and wounding the driver after a minor traffic accident, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.
Kenneth Lilly, 31, was charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault. He is expected to make his first court appearance Friday. He was arrested at the shooting scene and remains in jail.
“The actions of Mr. Lilly were outrageous and it was sheer luck that neither the bus driver nor the little girl were killed,” Freeman said. “Minneapolis police are continuing their investigation and if we can add aggravating circumstances for a longer sentence, should we prove him guilty, we will do so.”
According to the criminal complaint, shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday Minneapolis police were called to a shooting on Interstate 35W near Chicago Avenue and the split with Interstate 94. Lilly was in his security guard uniform and the bus driver was taken by ambulance for a wound to his left arm and graze wound of his head.
The bus driver was trying to merge onto the interstate in inclement weather when the bus apparently scraped Lilly’s black sedan, the complaint states. The bus driver said he was unaware he had hit anything but there was some paint from the bus on the car.
Near the interstate split, Lilly stopped his car in the lane of traffic and got out and walked towards the bus. A truck between the two vehicles pulled into the next lane and left. Lilly kept walking until he got to the passenger door of the bus and tried to get into the bus, according to the complaint.
The driver told Lilly he could not come in because there was a child onboard. Video showed Lilly walking toward the front driver’s side corner as the bus appeared to slowly pull into traffic. Lilly then walked to the driver’s side of the bus where he pulled out his 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol from its holster. He then walked back to the front of the bus and fired five shots at the bus windshield, the complaint states.
After shooting, Lilly walked to the driver’s side of the bus and called 911. Lilly told officers that he feared for his safety and that is why he shot at the bus driver. However, the video footage showed the defendant had retreated to a safe spot before walking in front of the bus and shooting, according to the complaint.
Lilly Criminal Complaint (PDF)