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L.A. Metro bus driver critically injured in stabbing in Woodland Hills; suspect at large

Two men stand near an L.A. Metro bus.
An L.A. Metro bus driver suffered critical injuries after he was stabbed in Woodland Hills on Wednesday evening, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
(KTLA-TV Channel 5)
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An L.A. Metro bus driver was critically injured after being stabbed multiple times Wednesday evening in Woodland Hills, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Authorities said the stabbing occurred around 5:15 p.m. near the intersection of Erwin Street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

The assailant — described as a 21-year-old man wearing a red shirt, black pants and black backpack — was last seen fleeing on Erwin Street toward Owensmouth Avenue, authorities said.

The LAPD released these photos of a man suspected in the stabbing of an L.A. Metro bus driver in Woodland Hills.
The LAPD released these photos of a man suspected in the stabbing of an L.A. Metro bus driver Wednesday evening in Woodland Hills.
(Los Angeles Police Department)

The stabbing occurred after the man boarded the bus and got into an argument with the driver, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Both the man and the driver got off the bus during the course of the argument, which ended with the man stabbing the driver, according to authorities.

“Metro is shocked and saddened to hear about this heinous act of violence and is providing support to our employee and his loved ones,” the agency said in a statement. “We will work closely with the LAPD to investigate this incident, identify and prosecute the suspect.”

The bus driver was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery and is listed in critical condition, according to the LAPD. No additional details about the driver were immediately available.

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Commuters have abandoned large swaths of a Los Angeles Metro train system plagued by crime and the scourge of drugs.

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In a tweet, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said his department “has mustered a number of night watch detectives and uniform personnel to investigate this senseless attack.”

Mayor Karen Bass also condemned the stabbing.

“This heinous act of violence is horrific and the harm done to one of our Metro drivers is tragic,” she said in a statement. “I join the entire city family in praying for him tonight, and my heart also goes out to his family.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn has called for a review of the response to a recent attack of a woman on a Blue Line train, where witnesses said it took too long for police and Metro officials to help.

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The stabbing represents the latest act of violence aboard L.A. public transit. Last week, a 53-year-old woman was attacked aboard an A Line train in Long Beach. The incident prompted Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn to call for a “full accounting” of Metro security staff during the attack.

“Safety on Metro is a top priority, and I will redouble my efforts as mayor and as a Metro board member to keep transit riders and workers safe,” Bass said.

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