Moments after a school bus driver was shot while stopped along a Minneapolis interstate, the gunman called 911 and said several times that he opened fire because the driver tried to run him over.
This version of events from 31-year-old Kenneth Lilly is contained in a 911 transcript released this week by the Minnesota State Patrol.
Lilly, of St. Paul, was charged last week with second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in the school bus shooting Feb. 5 near where Interstates 94 and 35W merge south of downtown. The driver was grazed on the head and hit in an arm. An 8-year-old girl on the bus was not hurt.
Lilly was one of several people close by who called emergency dispatch to report what they saw and heard when several shots were fired.
According to the transcript:
Lilly reported that he got in a crash with the 78-year-old bus driver, then pulled over and got out of his vehicle. "I tried to get his information," Lilly told the dispatcher. "He tried to drive past me, nearly ran me over and then a self-defense incident occurred because he tried to run me over. So shots have been fired."
He added that he was wearing a full security uniform and said among his repeated accounts of what happened that "I don't know why, why he had to try to run me over."
The driver later told police that he would not let Lilly onto the bus because he had a student passenger.
The dispatcher asked Lilly the location of his gun, and he said it was in a holster that he was wearing.
Under questioning later by police, he said he shot the driver out of fear for his safety, according to charges filed against him last week.
That contention was dismissed by Chief Deputy County Attorney David Brown. "We do not believe there is a self-defense claim based on the evidence we have received so far," Brown said.
Lilly, who was jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail, posted bond and was released. He remains free ahead of a March 8 court date.
In 2015, prosecutors found Lilly "legally justified" when he shot and killed 16-year-old Lavauntai Broadbent during a robbery attempt at a St. Paul park. Broadbent brandished a handgun when Lilly, who had a permit to carry, pulled out his own gun and shot him.