OROVILLE, Calif. — Authorities say a 21-year-old Sacramento man opened fire on a Greyhound bus, killing a 43-year-old woman and wounding four others before he was arrested, naked, inside a nearby Walmart.
The bus, which was headed for Los Angeles, stopped at a convenience store in Oroville on Wednesday night. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said Thursday that Asaahdi Coleman started shooting randomly as people exited the bus. Honea told reporters on Thursday Asaahdi Elijah Coleman showed “what could best be described as paranoid behavior."
"There was some indication that he thought one of the other passengers was an undercover law enforcement officer," said Honea.
This is important because they say Coleman has a felony warrant out of Alameda County for a probation violation.
A 43-year-old woman was killed while four passengers — include a 11-year-old girl, 25-year-old pregnant woman, 32-year-old man and 38-year-old man — were hospitalized for injuries. The name of the victim has not yet been released.
Coleman was not in legal possession of the gun based on prior charges. Officials said they recovered a dozen 9 mm bullet casings on the bus, which also had a bullet hole through the windshield.
“Last night was an extraordinary event in our small town, the barbell a mass shooting something that we have not had in this community," said Mike Ramsey, Butte County District Attorney.
Ramsey said Coleman had a juvenile record and an active felony warrant for having a gun as a prohibited person. The office is expected to file charges in court Friday afternoon as it builds its case against Coleman.
"This particular individual in no way shape or form should have been in possession of a firearm. And as Mr. Ramsay noted, there is a previous history of this individual who is merely 21 engaged in this kind of conduct," said Honea.
Coleman is scheduled to be in court on Friday for formal charges. It was not immediately clear if Coleman has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
Law enforcement's timeline of shooting and arrest
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said passengers indicated Coleman boarded the Greyhound bus in Redding Wednesday evening and took a rear seat on the bus.
As the bus made a stop in Chico, Coleman began talking on the phone and passengers reported he was "acting paranoid and agitated," asking them about Los Angeles and the city's dangers.
"That conversation then prompted Mr. Coleman to show some of the people on the bus a firearm that he had in a small bag, or satchel he was carrying," Honea said.
After opening fire inside the bus, Honea said Coleman ran down Oro Dam Boulevard toward a charter school behind a shopping area. It was at a nearby construction site that police say Coleman dropped the weapon allegedly used in the shooting before fleeing to Walmart.
He went into Walmart and walked toward the cash register — became involved in a verbal altercation with a woman, then a physical fight with her boyfriend before it was broken up, according to the county sheriff's office.
Coleman went to the front of the Walmart and began removing his clothing.
"At about that same time is when our deputies arrived on-scene and were ultimately able to take him into custody," Honea said.
The California Department of Justice helped analyze the crime scenes.
"Ultimately this was a horrible tragedy that was visited upon our community. Another tragedy that we're having to deal with and endure in this community," Honea said.
ABC10 spoke with passengers from another Greyhound bus that pulled into the AMPM Thursday morning.
"I could've been on that bus. I could've been one that was shot," said Dorthy Underwood, a Greyhound customer.
Underwood is traveling from Oregon to see her son in the Central Valley and says she takes this Greyhound route frequently.
"It's awful. People don't deserve that kind of stuff. I don't—I don't, you know. They don't deserve that. I can't understand somebody who would do something so stupid," she said.
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