On Wednesday morning, a worker for the Metro train system in Washington, DC, was shot and killed while attempting to stop a shooter from opening fire on commuters, according to the police.
Police were able to positively identify the suspect as Robert Cunningham, a mechanic working for the power department “who intervened on behalf of a customer … at Potomac Avenue Station and was a victim of senseless gun violence,” according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on Wednesday.
At least two other people were shot and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and a suspect has been arrested, authorities said.
The first shooting occurred on a Metrobus in southeast Washington soon after 9 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, when the gunman got into an incident with another passenger on the bus. This is when the gunfire began. The two men got off the bus, and one of them, who was armed, shot the other commuter, according to the police.
The suspect then entered the Potomac Avenue Metro Station, where police say he shot and injured a second commuter before fleeing the scene. Cunningham allegedly tried to intercede as the suspect aimed his firearm next to a female commuter, and the suspect shot and killed Cunningham as he did so, according to the police.
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Investigators added that the gunman then boarded a Metro rail vehicle, where people tackled him and “were able to disarm” him. The gunman was then able to escape. Soon after that, officers reportedly detained him for questioning.
Investigators were able to positively identify Isaiah Trotman, 31, of Washington, District of Columbia, as the shooter, and he was taken into custody on charges of first-degree murder while armed, kidnapping while armed, and assault with a dangerous weapon, according to the police.
In a statement, the public transportation agency claimed that it was “Metro is mourning the loss of a heroic employee.”
“Words cannot express how saddened we are to learn about the death of Mr. Cunningham,” Paul C. Smedberg, chairman of the authority’s board, said. “We understand that the employee acted with extreme bravery to help a customer who was being threatened by the shooter. ” Police say that a fourth person also got a hand injury during the incident.