Metro (WMATA)

‘Something Has to Be Done': Metro Riders, Union Call for Changes After Shootings

A suspect shot and killed a Metro employee and hurt three others on a bus and at the Potomac Ave. Metro station

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A shooting rampage that killed a Metro employee and hurt three others on a public bus and at the Potomac Avenue Metro station in Southeast D.C. Wednesday is the latest in a series of violent incidents on Metro, and some riders and Metro workers are calling for safety improvements.

D.C. police said the suspected shooter shot someone in the legs as they got off of a Metrobus. Then, the suspect shot another person in the legs who was buying a fare card at the Potomac Ave. station, police said.

The suspect continued down the escalator and got in an altercation with a woman on the station's platform. He then fatally shot a Metro Transit employee who tried to intervene, police said.

Eventually, passengers tackled the suspect on a Metro train and police arrested him.

"It’s very clear that Metro needs better security. Any time people can continuously bring guns on our trains, and guns on our buses, yet you say you want to increase ridership? Something has to be done," Metro rider Michael Campbell told News4.

Metro's largest transit union called on Metro officials and public officials in the region to review safety protocol and procedures.

"The heroes that run our transit day in and day out and the riders they faithfully serve deserve to go to work knowing they are free from fear of violence," Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 said in a statement shared to Twitter.

"To think that someone came today, doing their job, then tried to intervene and protect another person that lives here and lost their life, is really sad," Metro's General Manager Randy Clarke said of the Metro employee who died.

Last month, a man was shot to death outside the Southern Avenue Metro station, a 6-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy were shot leaving a Metrobus on 14th Street NW, and a 17-year-old boy was killed and a 14-year-old boy was shot at the Congress Heights Metro station in Southeast D.C.

Clarke said Wednesday the transit system is safe.

However, some residents told News4 they'll now think twice about riding Metro and they won’t let their children use it to get to school.

Caryn Ernst, a resident of the neighborhood near the Potomac Avenue station said she’s pleaded to officials for a better safety presence in the area.

"If we had had a safe passage person here this morning, who was a violence interruptor, they can tune into these types of things. They understand, they recognize when there's problems that are brewing," Ernst said.

Her own daughter was on the platform 30 minutes before the shooting.

"It terrifies me that my daughter was down there and she could be down there, she could be the next victim,” Ernst said.

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