Commissioner Ramsey On SEPTA Shooting: ‘You Got A Lot Of Idiots Out Here’

WEST OAK LANE (CBS) – For the second time in a week, a SEPTA bus driver is injured by gunfire, this time in West Oak Lane.

At about 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, a SEPTA driver was in his Route 6 bus, parked at a layover on Cheltenham Avenue near Ogontz, when a stray bullet came through the windshield.

A SEPTA spokeswoman says only the driver was on the bus at the time. He wasn’t hit by gunfire, but he was hit in the eyes by flying glass.

Police say a 22-year-old man on the street was shot twice in the arm during the incident.

The man and the bus driver were both taken to Einstein Medical Center, police say, in stable condition.

Police commissioner Charles Ramsey says it’s just the latest example of violence that he says shows the need for stricter penalties for anyone shooting a gun in public.

“You got a lot of idiots out here that use fire-arms indiscriminately,” Ramsey says. “They don’t care if they’re shooting at a bus driver, kids playing down the street, they don’t care.  They’ll shoot into a crowd and hit five people.”

After another SEPTA bus driver was shot in the arm while in Gray’s Ferry last Tuesday night, SEPTA management is calling for lawmakers to take action on a bill in the state senate that would increase penalties for violence against transit workers.

“They can do all that, but I’d rather see them pass a bill that, if you’re caught firing a gun in public, you get 20 years in jail, period,” said Ramsey. “It doesn’t matter who you shoot.”

Wednesday afternoon, John Johnson, President of the Transit Workers Union Local 234, held a news conference regarding the shooting, saying these type of incidents aren’t just a Philadelphia issue, but a nationwide issue. In order to prevent them, he says SEPTA should consider adding shields to protect the drivers.

Johnson said he spoke to the wife of the victim who said her husband’s face has been disfigured and shards of glass were in his face. She said they’re hoping his injuries aren’t life altering.

Because attacks on SEPTA transports have been growing, Johnson advised passengers if they’re caught in this situation take action.

“Don’t just sit there passively, become involved because your lifes is in danger,” Johnson said.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio

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One Comment

  1. Don says:

    I came from poor family as did my parents,but not one has resorted to selling drugs or robbing or killing people,this applies to many families that I grew up around.We just keep on pushing forward knocking on doors and trying to make an honest living.I have had to in the last 15 years try to keep working in a city that has affirmative action in place so my opportunities have been challenged a bit to say the least,still I will not sell drugs,steal or kill an other human being….

  2. michael says:

    Too many guns.

    1. Eric Morgovsky says:

      too many guns my a*S, there was just one gun used for this, only one gun is needed to kill a person. This is not an issue of gun quantity, it is an issue of our laws not being harsh enough on violent offenders.

  3. Dee says:

    Bottom line is there is an appalling lack of respect .. they don’t respect themselves let alone others. Driving through North Philly will give you a good snapshot.. litter strewn all over the streets.. Really despicable. Amazing as to how anyone would want their neighborhoods to look like this. They have no regard, interesting how rampant drug availability and illegal firearms in a city where welfare is high. Just sickening the deterioration. Time to call in the national guard

  4. Stephanie Palmer says:

    This incident actually has an up side. We’ll soon have lots of jobs openings in the transportation field. No one will want to drive a bus in Philly.

  5. bob says:

    How about 20 years for possession of a hand gun illegally and 20 years for shooting a handgun in public. 40 years should MAYBE scare people a little more. The only way you skate is if you have it legally and its self defense.

  6. CC says:

    GUN LAWS? are you kidding me? Doesn’t anyone get the idea that LAWS period mean nothing to criminals? that’s why there have been terms such as outlaws, lawlessness, etc. the only thing 20 years for firing a gun in public will only deter the average citizen from defending themselves.

    why not try stopping the bus service in the area for a period of time, until the community starts cooperating and giving the police infomration that will help stop this.

    1. Juju says:

      well that’s a wonderful idea, make a desperate neighborhood even more desperate. that will definitely prevent crime…

      the only deterrent the average citizen should face when shooting off their legal firearm is that of being ABSOLUTELY sure that you want to fire it. in other words, it better be life or death and you better have thought about it. otherwise, you should definitely go to prison.

      so yes, 20 years sounds perfectly appropriate. belated, even.

  7. Carolyn says:

    When will our lawmakers, (congressmen and senators) open their eyes to the fact that much more astringent gun laws are needed in this country…WHEN!!!

    1. Juju says:

      astringent. heh, heh.

  8. Robert Button says:

    What kind of news writing is that? Where the hell is West Oak Lane… A whole long, over-written story that never mentions the name of the town…. My god!

    1. Danielle says:

      West Oak Lane is a section of Philadelphia in the North West region. Ogontz Ave runs through past LaSalle and up to 309. Are you from Philadelphia? I’ve only lived here for 5 years and know this.

      1. Ray Cyst says:

        I feel sorry for you, living in low income housing…you must have 8 kids

      2. Dwight Power says:

        Danielle is the problem…stop with excuses and start accepting responsibility and stop accepting handouts

      3. Danielle says:

        Actually I live in Center City and teach close by to where this took place. So instead of 8 children, I have 23 that I care for and love every single day. I hate that my students live in a neighborhood that this is happening. It’s a shame that our school lost nearly 20 staff members, including our school officer who helped us keep our students safe when gun shots rang out at dismissal time last school year (adults with guns, NOT our children). We should have more staffing and more activities after school to keep kids on the right track. Oh and I try to teach my kids not to make terrible assumptions and sterotypes as both of you just did.

  9. Anonymous says:


  10. Bernard says:

    Even the bus drivers aren’t safe in some neighborhoods! Something has to be done about the crime in Philadelphia. West Oak Lane isn’t what it used to be.

    1. Danielle says:

      The whole city was white? I think someone needs to go back to history class. Neighborhoods aren’t the same anymore because of poverty and uneducated citizens. Put money and teachers back into schools and after school programs to give these kids a chance to make something out of themselves instead of growing up to be a thug. It has nothing to do with their race, it has to do with their opportunities.

      1. Don says:

        And why don’t these thugs have opportunities,in the last decade or two. there has been plenty of opportunities for the poor and disadvantaged in this city.More than ever before,you just have to want to go in the right direction.Believe me I have worked with many young men and boys from the philly gettos,your a thug because you want to be a thug.Lets go another way,I know my share of White guys and Black that had more opportunities than most and turned out real bad.Believe Me!!!

      2. Danielle says:

        Oh I believe you and agree with you. I see it every single day while I work in the “thug” filled neighborhoods. Most of the kids growing up here want to do well… its the few who ruin it for everyone. I read your earlier post, good for you for the choices you’ve made in life :)

      3. Don says:

        Unfortunately it’s more than a few,and the court and prison systems don’t always work but that’s another discussion.And thank you…Danielle even living in CC you must be vigilant,so with that be safe and good luck.

    2. Danielle says:

      I’m sorry, Uncle Tom, but “the blacks” ??? As a white profrossional, most of the people I work with and who have more power and money than I do are black. They aren’t “thugs” because their skin is different than mine, the kids who unforuntately turn to thug life are that way because of lack of education and opportunities in their life to do anything. You sound like a biggot uneduated idiot.

  11. rhonda says:

    ha ha ha maybe they will kill eachother one by one.. then maybe.. just maybe the city will be a little safer again!

  12. Lou Gots says:

    Another beautiful day in the neighborhood. Won’t you be, won’t you be, won’t you be my neighbor?

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