Metro Transit Experiences First Shooting on a Bus in a Decade


Two people were shot Thursday night in Minneapolis on a Metro Transit bus, the Minneapolis Police Department has revealed.

One of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene while the other suffered critical injuries and was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center where he is expected to survive his injuries.

The shooting occurred Thursday night at 9:28 p.m. on the 100 block of North 9th Street aboard a Metro Transit bus, the police department said in a press release.

The Minneapolis Police Department said a preliminary investigation indicates that the bus was stopped when the suspect, a 26-year-old male, boarded the vehicle and shot two people who were seated on the bus. The suspect fled on foot and was taken into custody after officers located him on the 700 block of Nicollet.

The identities of the victims have not been released. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office will release information on the deceased victim along with the nature and cause of death in the coming days, the department said.

According to KSTP, a criminal complaint was filed against Malcolm James Lessley for one count of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder. Lessley has a prior conviction for first-degree aggravated robbery with a firearm and his preliminary bail was set at $2 million.

Metro Transit Police Chief Eddie Frizell said “this is the first shooting that has occurred on a Metro Transit bus in a decade.”

“The Metro Transit Police Department, as well as the Metropolitan Council, are working on enhancing our tactics, techniques, and procedures to make sure that we’re still providing for the safety and security of our riders,” he added.

The shooting occurred a day after a joint House and Senate Legislative Commission on Metropolitan Government heard testimony from two concerned Metro Transit workers, The Minnesota Sun reported.

The workers, both light rail operators, said they are concerned for their safety and called the light rail system a “dangerous, unsanitary, unsafe, dirty mode of transit.”

“I’ve got operators that are scared to come to work. They’re wondering if they’re going to make it home,” said one of the Metro Transit employees. “We have murders on the platform. We have murders on our train. We’ve had rapes, numerous rapes. On any given night, there is an excess of 100 people riding the train. Half of them aren’t fully clothed. They’re drinking, they’re doing drugs. Sexual activity, urinating, defecating on the train. When we call this in, we’re lucky if police meet up with us.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Metro Minneapolis Bus” by Runner1928. CC BY-SA 3.0.








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One Thought to “Metro Transit Experiences First Shooting on a Bus in a Decade”

  1. William Delzell

    Everybody has a right to a safe public transit system. I hope that the foes of public transit won’t use these crimes as an excuse to force the elimination of public transit.

    If anybody thinks that eliminating mass transit would eliminate a huge chunk of violent crime and other dangerous offenses to the public safety, they are mistaken. We have drive-by shootings, motor cycle violence, reckless drunk driving accidents that claim even more lives than violent street crime does, and we would have traffic congestion even worse than we do now. Indeed, any much more traffic congestion could strangle the city and make it an unwelcome place for new businesses and jobs, which in turn would produce more crime.

    Yes, by all means step up patrols on transit vehicles and provide drivers with effective self-defense and communications equipment. Passengers can do their part by reporting any suspicious activity for the driver to notify the police.

    Whatever we do, don’t allow the anti-transit/pro-automobile lobbyists use transit crime as an excuse to destroy public transit!