A King County Metro bus driver is being hailed as a hero after he steered a bus with a dozen passengers on board away from a gunman after he was shot.
On Wednesday afternoon, 53-year-old Eric Stark was hit after a suspect fired shots at the Route 75 bus that he was operating.
Immediately after, Stark turned his bus around and drove away from the suspect. He pressed the emergency alarm to alert transit control that he had been shot.
The 12 passengers inside the bus were not injured.
Stark was taken to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. As of Wednesday night, he was in satisfactory condition.
During a news conference Wednesday evening, city leaders praised Stark for his heroic efforts.
"The bus driver who was involved in this incident is a hero," said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. "He saved lives and took action."
"This bus driver truly is a hero," said Seattle police Deputy Chief Marc Garth Green.
"He acted heroically and put the well-being of his passengers above all else," said King County Executive Dow Constantine.
Moments before Stark was shot, police said the suspect shot and injured a driver. Investigators said another driver was fatally shot after and another driver died after a collision with the suspect.
The suspect was taken into custody after a brief standoff.
Stark has been with the King County Metro since 2012.
"I want him and his family to know that all the wishes of Seattle go out to him and hope for him to have a speedy recovery," said Durkan.
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