Tuesday evening, just after 5 p.m., a fatal shooting occurred on board a Metro RapidRide H Line bus in White Center, leaving one person dead. I am deeply saddened by this tragic incident and extend my condolences to the family of the victim and to all those affected.
We take incidents like this very seriously. We are grateful to the Seattle Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office for their quick response, and we have added a security presence on the H Line Wednesday and will maintain that presence into the foreseeable future.
When violence occurs in the public transit community, it impacts all of us. I am grateful our operator and the other riders on board were not injured during this incident. I will be reaching out to our operator in the following days and the leadership team at the bus base remains in regular contact with them. Metro is supporting King County Sheriff’s detectives in their investigation as they pursue the suspect.
Metro activated the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team and it will be visiting our bus bases this week to provide additional support and resources. CISM is a Metro peer-support team made up of ATU 587 members who provide debriefing and support following critical incidents to any transit employee requesting assistance.
Additionally, Metro and King County provides several resources to support employees through traumatic events. I encourage you to take advantage of these benefits to care for yourselves and one another.
As part of the approved budget, Metro continues to hire and expand the number of transit security officers (TSOs) that patrol our buses and transit centers. In the event of a security incident, transit operators inform the Transit Control Center (TCC) who in turn notify local law enforcement.
The safety and security of our employees and riders remains our top priority. Metro has taken steps to increase and improve safety and security on our buses and transit facilities, with added transit security officers, safety ambassadors, and behavior specialists. These actions continue to show results, even among these rare and isolated acts of violence.