A school bus driver in Washington state was stabbed to death last weekend in an attack on elementary school students, officials said.
The Pasco Police Department said the driver was attacked Friday around 3 p.m. local time when the children were boarding a bus at Longfellow Elementary School in Pasco, Washington, on the Columbia River near the Washington-Oregon border.
A man boarded the bus and started attacking the driver with a knife, the police told The. told Tri City Herald.
Police were called and the driver was found to be the victim of the attack, Police Capt. Bill Paramore said at a news conference. Paramore said students on the bus and others nearby were injured and “immediately brought back to school.”
Photos from the scene show the bus, on a curb, crashed into some hedges nearby. The Tri-City Herald reported that the driver lost control of the bus during the attack.
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Parents were called after the incident and were asked to pick up their students from the school after being investigated by the police. Parramor said the school bus driver was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
Paramour said the suspect remained at the scene after the attack and was taken into custody. Police did not reveal the suspect’s identity or motive for the attack, but said more information would be released on Monday.
Paramore said counselors were going to be available at Longfellow Elementary School and in their transportation offices, to staff and to those working alongside the bus driver, whose name has not been publicly released by officials.
In a message to parents and staff, Pasco School District Superintendent Michelle Whitney noted the availability of counselors and reminded parents that “events like these can trigger strong and unpredictable emotional reactions.”
Whitney said, “We are devastated by the tragic loss of one of ours. Right now our focus is on supporting our students and staff, who are deeply affected by this tragedy.” “We are deeply saddened by today’s events.”
Whitney added: “As our community processes these incidents, please keep an eye on each other and reach out if you need us.”