School bus driver wounded in West Garfield Park shooting

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A school bus driver was wounded in a shooting in Chicago's West Garfield Park neighborhood, officials said.

The 31-year-old bus driver was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment, officials said. The driver's family said he was released from the hospital and resting at home on Saturday.

Police said the shot came from outside the bus and entered through the driver side window. The driver suffered a graze wound to the head. Had the bullet been an inch or two to the right, the driver could have been killed.

"Our prayers go out to the driver who was hurt. None of our students was hurt, thank God. This is the first time we've had an incident like this," said Temple Payne, principal of Christ the King Jesuit College Prep.

The shooting took place in the 4300-block of West Jackson Boulevard around 5:30 p.m. Thirty-two high school students were on the bus at the time, returning from a work-study program in downtown Chicago.

School officials said the bus was hit by apparent crossfire.

"The reports that we have say that he was alert and conscious and very skilled in pulling the bus over so that the students were safe," Payne said.

Destini Small was in another bus traveling ahead.

"It could have been me, and I'm glad that it was not me. But then, I'm still sad that that even took place," Small said.

"I know they was terrified because when we was at the school, you had kids that were very emotional about the situation and in disbelief that something like that could happen to them," said Shawnetta Murry, whose child is a student at the school.

As the driver recovers, parents of students are outraged that this could happen to a bus full of children working to further their education.

"The kids can't even get on the school bus. C'mon. Something has to be done about this. Something has just got to be done about the violence in Chicago," Murry said.

The school principal said counselors will be on hand for students when they return on Monday.
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