3 transit authority buses possibly shot while in service, Winston-Salem police say

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Winston-Salem police are accelerating their investigation as three Winston-Salem Transit Authority buses have become targets in less than a month. Although they are currently classifying whatever has been shattering the bus windows as “undetermined objects,” they have not ruled out that a small-caliber weapon is being used.

“Shocked. I was totally shocked,” said Tony Tobias, who says he rides the bus every day. “I didn’t ever think that something like that would actually happen.”

The first incident happened on March 13 around 8:45 p.m. near North Patterson Avenue and North Glenn Avenue. The incident report listed online classifies the weapon used as a handgun, but police are still considering other possibilities.

There was one passenger on board at the time, as well as the driver, according to WSTA.

“This is a country,” said Alan Douglas, who also rides the buses. “Not a battlefield.”

The second report came on Friday, April 5, just before midnight at North Cleveland Avenue and 22nd Street. The police report indicates a window on the bus was damaged and lists any weapon used as “unknown” or “not stated.”

WSTA says there were no passengers on board.

“I don’t know where it’s gonna happen again,” Tobias said. “I hope it doesn’t happen again.”

The most recent occurrence happened around 7:15 p.m. Monday, at North Cleveland Avenue and 25th Street. WSTA officials say there were two passengers on board when one of the bus windows shattered. The police report lists the weapon used as an “undetermined firearm.”

“It hit my ears and baffled me,” said Timothy McNeil, who was waiting for a bus on Tuesday.

Tobias says some of the bus drivers have been talking to passengers about their experiences.

“They don’t know, because they have set routes, so at the end of the day they don’t know which route to take and which route not to take,” he said. “They’re scared at the same time, as everybody would be.”

At this time, police have ruled out that a large-caliber weapon is being used.

“A bullet will kill you,” Douglas said. “That is nothing to play with.”

There have not been any injuries related to any of the three events.

“If it ever happens and the buses are crowded, it’s gonna be tragic,” Tobias said. “I already know it’s gonna be tragic, it’ll be fatal.”

WSTA says about 10,000 people ride their buses every day.

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