A 49-year-old bus driver who operated a mobility van was shot and killed in Baltimore on Friday night, police said.
[ [UPDATE] Baltimore police: Arrest made in killing of MTA driver, another suspect identified ]
Northeast District police officers responded to a call at about 5:35 p.m. reporting a shooting in the 4400 block of Moravia Road. There, they found the driver, whose identity was not immediately confirmed, suffering from gunshot wounds to the body.
He was taken to an area hospital, where he later died.
Police said the MobilityLink operator was seated inside his vehicle when he was approached by an unidentified male who produced a handgun and shot the victim. The gunman fled the location in a tan or beige-colored Ford Crown Victoria or a Lincoln Grand Marquis. It was not immediately clear whether the gunman had an accomplice.
Though police have not released the name of the MTA driver, a union official identified him as Frankye Duckett.
Mark Garey, business agent for the Teamsters Local 355, which represents the Mobility drivers for First Transit MTA, said, “I saddened to hear of the tragic loss of brother Frankye Duckett. I hope they catch who was responsible for this violent act, and on behalf of the entire Teamsters Union, our prayers and thoughts go out to his family.”
It comes on the heels of the shooting of Marcus Parks, an MTA bus driver who was killed on duty in October. Months before that, an argument led a rider to allegedly shoot another bus driver in his chest.
Michael McMillan, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1300, said while the driver was not affiliated with his unit, he feels the same pain as he would for one of his members.
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“We still feel like they’re a family member, doing the same job,” McMillan said. “My heart is saddened.”
McMillan, who represents more than 1,500 MTA workers, said both recent killings should inspire lawmakers to help pass legislation to make buses a safer environment for workers, including making assaults on employees classified as felonies.
In a statement, The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration called for an end to the violence.
“We are deeply saddened by another tragic loss this evening as one of our First Transit Mobility service operators was killed on the job,” administrator Kevin Quinn said. “The safety of our employees and our riders is MDOT MTA’s highest priority. Violence against transit operators needs to stop immediately. MDOT MTA is grateful for our operators’ dedication in transporting essential workers to critical jobs and in this case, transporting our most vulnerable customers to essential services during the pandemic each and every day. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this most difficult time.”
Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted late Friday, “This is the second time in a matter of months an MTA driver has been killed while serving the community. He was helping some of our most vulnerable citizens. It is absolutely senseless, and we will not tolerate this violence. Please keep his family in your prayers tonight.”
Homicide detectives are asking anyone with information to contact them at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup.
Baltimore Sun reporter Jacques Kelly contributed to this article.