One person was killed and five more were injured when a man pulled a handgun and began shooting on a California bus during the early n hours of Feb. 3. Two of the passengers suffered serious injuries. The incident occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. on a Greyhound bus that was making its way from Los Angeles to the San Francisco area. A 33-year-old man has been taken into custody in connection with the shooting. He is being held without bond at the Kern County Jail. He has been charged with murder and multiple counts of attempted murder.
The California Highway Patrol has not speculated about what may have motivated the man to open fire. Witnesses say that he was speaking loudly and incoherently when he got on the bus and became engaged in an angry exchange with a passenger who asked him to be quiet. Initial reports suggest that the man appeared to snap before drawing a handgun and firing as many as nine shots indiscriminately.
The shooting ended when the bus driver pulled over and convinced the man to get off. The man is said to have left his gun behind when he exited the vehicle. The bus driver pulled over again a short time later to alert police and summon paramedics. He has been lauded as a hero. Police responding to the scene quickly identified the suspect standing on the shoulder and took him into custody without further incident according to media reports.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek a psychiatric evaluation when their clients are accused of committing random acts of extreme violence with seemingly no motive. When psychotherapists determine that the individual concerned was not aware of the consequences of their actions and could not differentiate right from wrong, attorneys may mount a diminished mental capacity defense.