Off-duty driver hijacks Capital Metro bus, kills self

Posted on April 23, 2013

UPDATE: The man who hijacked the bus has been identified as an off-duty Capital Metro driver. The story is updated below the original with a statement from Capital Metro.

AUSTIN, Texas — An armed man hijacked a Capital Metro transit bus on Saturday and led police on a 30-mile chase from Austin to Bastrop before pulling the bus over and killing himself, according to the American-Statesman.

The man boarded the bus and then forced the driver and the two passengers off it at gunpoint before getting behind the wheel and heading east. The man pulled the bus over in a parking lot, and as officers surrounded the bus, they heard a shot. The man was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, officers said. For the full story, click here.

Late Monday, Capital Metro released the following statement:

"On Saturday, April 20, at approximately 4:30 p.m., Salvador Martinez, an off-duty bus operator employed by Capital Metro contractor McDonald Transit, hijacked a Capital Metro bus in south Austin and ordered the bus operator and two passengers off of the bus. The on-duty operator followed the established protocol for emergencies to ensure the safety of the passengers, who were unharmed during the incident.

Mr. Martinez drove the bus to Bastrop, where he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had been an employee of McDonald Transit since August 2012, and had been placed on suspension in February 2013.

Prior to his employment with McDonald Transit, Mr. Martinez was employed by Star Tran, Capital Metro’s private non-profit contractor, from 1998 to 2012.

All of Capital Metro contractors are well-trained in emergency procedures, which also includes refresher training. In addition, Capital Metro equips its buses with a variety of safety features that allow its bus operators to contact the dispatch office and first responders in the event of an emergency such as this.

We are continuing to cooperate with authorities during their ongoing investigation. Grief counseling is being provided to McDonald Transit and Capital Metro employees today at the agency’s headquarters.

The management and employees of Capital Metro would like to offer their heartfelt condolences to the family and coworkers of Mr. Martinez during this very difficult time."

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