One Killed, Four Injured After Man Commandeers Bus
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) _ A 33-year-old man was being held today in lieu of $150,000 bond after being accused of stealing a city bus and causing four accidents that killed a 3- year-old girl and injured four other people, authorities said.
Ronald Ennis was charged with murder and attempt to commit capital murder. Officials said he had to be cut out of the bus Wednesday morning after a five- mile, 30-minute chase that ended with a fatal crash with a small car and a truck, officials said.
Shaunte Green, of San Antonio, was dead on arrival at Brooke Army Medical Center, said spokesman Jerry DuBois.
The child’s uncle, Russell Saunders, 21, remained in critical condition today at the medical center. His wife, Gwenn, remained in satisfactory condition.
Two other people were injured during the chase. A man and a woman who suffered minor cuts and bruises in the third collision were treated at Humana Metropolitan Hospital and released, said hospital spokeswoman Kris Wiese.
Officials said they were baffled by the case.
″It’s a mystery to us,″ said VIA Metropolitan Transit spokesman Ray Dudley.
″He wouldn’t talk to us,″ said homicide detective Billy Wolfe.
Ennis stayed at the Salvation Army’s center for the destitute here six times in the past six months, the last time Sunday night, said center director Irma Escamilla.
″He never caused us any problems,″ Ms. Escamilla said.
Manuel C. Sanchez said he met Ennis at the center Sunday night. ″He seemed like he was kind of nervous,″ Sanchez said. ″He kept on asking me for cigarettes. He got mad once and he started cussing.
″Right around midnight, he was just walking around, I could see him. He was just pacing and pacing all over,″ Sanchez said. ″When I woke up, I didn’t see him.″
The incident began around 9:40 a.m. when driver Richard Chawell, 56, stopped his bus at Wonderland Mall in northwest San Antonio, Dudley said.
Chadwell left the bus to call his dispatcher, Dudley said. The vehicle was left running, which is normal procedure, said the spokesman.
All but one passenger left the bus. While Chadwell was making the call, a woman waiting at a nearby bus shelter shouted that the passenger had gotten into the driver’s seat.
Chadwell ran up to the bus, but the man inside slammed the doors shut ″and tried to run over him,″ Dudley said. ″The man obviously knew how to drive a bus.″
Chadwell reported the incident to the dispatcher, and police began chasing the bus.
The bus rammed one patrol car off the street, said Police Chief Kenneth Menn.
Once it came to a halt, an officer had to climb through a bus window to subdue Ennis, Menn said.
Ennis, who suffered head cuts, was treated at Medical Center hospital and released into police custody.