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School bus driver shot: 'I was inches away from death'

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Andre Steele suffered a graze wound to the face when he was shot while driving his school bus last week in Chicago?s West Garfield Park neighborhood. (WLS)

Andre Steele suffered a graze wound to the face when he was shot while driving his school bus last week in Chicago's West Garfield Park neighborhood.

Steele was driving a bus full of students home when a bullet pierced his side window. The shooter remains at large.

"I was inches away, inches away from death. I still can't fully focus in on my left eye. I also still have stitches in my left ear," Steele said.

Steele, 31, was driving 32 high school students from Christ the King College Prep back to their school following a work-study field trip. Steele said as the bus traveled in the 4300-block of West Jackson Street, gunshot from outside the bus shattered his driver's side window.

"I had blood everywhere. I didn't know what was going on at the time but I just knew it hurt like hell," he said.

Despite the pain he was in, Steele said his first through was the safety of the kids on the bus.

"I tried to drive as much as I could before I stopped the bus, and put it, secured the bus basically, so it wouldn't roll off or anything like that, or hit anybody else," Steele said.

No one else was hurt. Police said the bus appeared to have been hit by gang crossfire.

Steele is recovering at home and has received plenty of well wishes from the students he protected. And because his injuries have kept him from his job of four years as a school bus driver, friends hope to raise $5,000 through a GoFundMe campaign to help with medical bills not covered by insurance.

In the meantime, Steele is just thankful to be alive.

"I believe in God and I think, I believe that God saved me. He really, truly did," he said.

Steele hopes to be back at work sometime in the next couple of weeks. He also hopes the gunman will be caught soon, as he doesn't want him to hurt anyone else.
Related Topics:
newschicago shootingschool busWest Garfield Park
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