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Man Commandeers Bus; Child Killed

October 17, 1985

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) _ A 33-year-old transient commandeered a city bus Wednesday and led police on a five-mile chase that ended when the bus collided with a car, killing a child and injuring four other people, authorities said.

The man, Ronald Ennis, had to be cut out of the bus after the accident, and was treated for cuts at Medical Center hospital. He was arrested after the 30- minute chase and charged with murder and attempt to commit capital murder.

Ennis was treated for cuts on his head and jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail, authorities said. Ennis had stayed at a center for the homeless six times in the last six months, the last time being Sunday night, said Irma Escamilla, director of the Salvation Army in San Antonio.

Shaunte Green, 3, of San Antonio, was killed when the bus collided with the small car she was in and a truck, police said.

Russell and Gwenn Saunders, both 21 and identified as the child’s aunt and uncle, were injured, police said. Saunders was in critical condition and his wife was in satisfactory condition, said Jerry DuBois, a spokesman for Brooke Army Medical Center.

The bus caused three other accidents during the chase, police said. A man and a woman were treated for minor cuts and bruises after the third collision and released, said Humana Metropolitan Hospital spokeswoman Kris Wiese.

Transit spokesman Ray Dudley said the incident began about 9:40 a.m. when a driver stopped his bus at Wonderland Mall in northwest San Antonio.

The driver, identified as Richard Chadwell, 56, left the bus to call his dispatcher, Dudley said. The bus was left running, which Dudley said was normal procedure.

The bus emptied of all but one passenger, Dudley said. While Chadwell was making the call, a woman waiting at a nearby bus shelter shouted to him that the passenger had gotten into the driver’s seat.

Chadwell ran up to the bus, but the man inside slammed the doors ″and tried to run over him,″ Dudley said.

″The man obviously knew how to drive a bus,″ Dudley said.

Chadwell called the dispatcher to report the incident, and police began pursuing the bus.

Authorities did not know why the man hijacked the bus, Dudley said.