Seattle bus driver shot by passenger; police shoot gunman

SEATTLE Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:16pm EDT

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SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Seattle transit passenger shot and wounded a city bus driver on Monday and then was shot and critically wounded by police in a burst of morning rush-hour violence that also left two officers injured, authorities said.

Despite the fact that the 64-year-old driver was shot multiple times, his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, according to police and other officials.

Immediate details provided by police of the shooting were sketchy. But an eyewitness said she saw the gunman yelling at the driver before exiting the bus, then stepping back on and shooting him five times, including once in the jaw, The Seattle Times reported.

After shooting the driver, the suspect fled on foot through bustling downtown Seattle before being confronted by police officers about a block away, Seattle police said on their website.

The suspect, who police said was in his 30s or 40s, then opened fire on police before boarding a second bus. He was then shot by officers and was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, police said.

Two officers were hurt in the incident, police said. A 32-year-old officer was treated for minor injuries, possibly from broken glass. An officer in his 50s was taken to hospital for an unspecified medical condition.

A female passenger also suffered minor bruising while fleeing from the second bus, police said.

The wounded bus driver was visited at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle by King County Executive Dow Constantine, who found him to be in good spirits, said his spokesman, Frank Abe.

"The driver's first concern was for his passengers," Abe said.

Seattle Police Department officials did not immediately return calls seeking further comment and information.

A spokesman with the King County Metro Transit Police referred all questions to the Seattle Police Department.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Steve Gorman and Dan Grebler)

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