King County Metro beefs up security after fatal bus shooting

King County Metro is boosting security on the H line after a person was fatally shot while onboard a bus in White Center Tuesday night.

The victim, who has not yet been publicly identified, was killed at about 5 p.m. as the bus was pulling up to a stop near 15th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Roxbury Street, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooter remains at large as of Wednesday evening, despite a search operation using a helicopter in the area after the shooting occurred. Details about what led up to the shooting have not been released.

“These incidents are isolated and rare, and we are grateful that the other passengers and our transit operator were not injured,” Metro said in a Wednesday statement. “We take incidents like this very seriously.”

The agency said there will be extra security presence on the bus line “into the foreseeable future.”

King County Sheriff’s deputies provide transit police services for both Metro and Sound Transit. In the event of a security incident, Metro said transit operators inform the Transit Control Center, who in turn notify local law enforcement.

“We are confident that (KCSO) will continue filling vacancies that will in turn help get more officers throughout their entire jurisdictional areas, including transit,” Metro said in its Wednesday statement. “In the meantime, Sound Transit has approved four new security contracts earlier this year, so that the agency would be able to meet its staffing needs and increase its security presence.”

Tuesday’s bus shooting follows last week’s hammer attack in the underground passenger lobby of Sound Transit’s Beacon Hill Station that injured a man and a woman in their 60s. Seattle police is asking for the public’s help in identifying the assailant, who was captured on security cameras carrying a hammer on a light-rail platform and onboard the train.

In July, a man stabbed a fellow passenger 18 times onboard the light rail near Othello Station, without provocation, before fellow riders stepped forward and rescued the victim. In a separate attack that month, someone bludgeoned a man at the Sodo Station with a rock.

Attacks have happened despite promises and higher security budgets this year at Sound Transit.

Seattle Times reporters Lauren Girgis and Mike Lindblom contributed to this report.

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