Prosecutors: Suspect seen shooting at bus

October 10, 2008 4:16:00 PM PDT
As the man charged in a fatal shooting on a CTA bus maintains his innocence, prosecutors allege a surveillance camera caught images of him firing a gun. On Friday a judge ruled Milton Wardlaw will remain behind bars until his trial. Wardlaw is accused of firing a gun at a CTA bus on Sunday. A 17-year-old girl, Kiyanna Salter, who was riding the bus, was killed. Wardlaw, who turned himself in after his mother made public pleas, says another CTA passenger pulled the trigger.

"You have to turn yourself in, you have to do it now," pleaded Patricia Wilson, Wardlaw's mother, earlier this week after recognizing her son from surveillance photos. Now, she struggles with that decision. She attended her son's court hearing on Friday.

During the hearing, details about the shooting were released. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree Salter and her friend were on the bus when a stranger struck up a conversation. That turned into a scuffle when Wardlaw and the stranger bumped into each other on the bus. Prosecutors said the other man first flashed a gun, but Wardlaw is the one who fired the fatal shot after getting off the bus. Wardlaw said he didn't have a gun.

"He escorted me off the bus with the gun. I'm like, 'Man just don't shoot me in the back.' I'm telling him just don't shoot me! Please don't shoot me," said Wardlaw on Wednesday.

Prosecutors said surveillance from the CTA bus tells a different tale.

"As the bus begins to move, you see the defendant pull out a gun, point it at the bus and you clearly see the muzzle flash coming from his gun," said Maria McCarthy, Cook County Asst. State's Attorney.

Prosecutors say four witnesses identified Wardlaw -- not the stranger -- as the shooter. Their account is backed-up by images from four different cameras on board the bus.

A simple scuffle led to the death of the 17-year-old girl.

"Man, that was awful, that's something that did not even have to happen," said Wardlaw.

Police said no other charges are anticipated in the case and would not comment on whether they have spoken to the other man on the bus.

Prosecutors say there were seven cameras- shooting images both inside and outside- on the bus.


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