Charges filed against St. Paul man who shot a school bus driver

A bullet grazed the side of the driver’s head and second shot entered his left arm

Edgar Linares
February 07, 2019 - 4:48 pm
Mug shot of school bus shooting suspect

Minneapolis Police Department

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The man accused of shooting a Minneapolis school bus driver on Interstate 94 last Tuesday is now charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

“It appears he fired five times at the school bus striking the driver twice,” said David Brown, the Hennepin County Attorney's Chief Deputy.

Kenneth Lilly, 31, of St Paul is accused of the crime. According to court records, Lilly posted bail Thursday night and was released until his first court appearance.

By Edgar Linares in Minneapolis

On Tuesday afternoon, police received a report of shooting on a school bus during a snowstorm that snarled traffic. Deputies arrived in minutes and found Lilly wearing his security guard uniform and had his gun holstered.

“In the complaint it’s detailed that he (Lilly) called 911. I believe there are other 911 calls as well,” said Brown.

Investigators say the bus collided with Lilly’s car on I-94 while trying to merge. The 78-year-old driver later told investigators he didn’t know he struck Lilly’s car. The complaint then says Lilly stopped his car, got out and then walked towards the bus where he attempted to enter the passenger door. The driver told Lilly he ‘could not come in because there was an 8-year-old girl onboard’. The attorney’s office said video then shows Lilly walking to the front of the bus, pulling out his 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol from his holster, and firing into the windshield.

RELATED: Minneapolis school bus driver shot after crash on I-94

“It appears he fired five shots at the school bus striking the driver twice,” said Brown. “The 8-year-old child, who was in the bus at the time, was not injured.”

A bullet grazed the side of the 78-year-old driver’s head and second shot hit his left arm.

“While the injuries were very serious the victim is expected to survive and we’re just very pleased and happy for that,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Mederia Arradondo.

Lilly later told officers he feared for his safety. However, the Hennepin County Attorney’s office doesn’t believe that, and said video footage showed Lilly retreated to a safe spot before shooting.

“We’ve almost stopped running out of ways to describe this. It was just horrific,” said Brown.

If convicted Lilly could face up to 20 years in prison.