AS THE SEPTA BUS pulled up to 7th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue in North Philly, two men in white T-shirts rushed up to the open back door, one whipping out a long rifle from his pants and the other holding a pistol.
A dramatic video from one of seven cameras on the Route 47 bus, shown in a packed Philadelphia courtroom yesterday, caught the horrifying image of the men, weapons drawn.
After the door closed, another camera captured the smoke from the bullets fired into the bus – streams of vapor jetting from one side of the bus to the other.
Lafenus Pickett, who had been sitting in the back of the bus, told a Municipal judge that “five or six” people were outside the bus, two with guns. One had an “automatic rifle, the other a handgun,” he said.
Just before the shooting, about 5:50 p.m. June 18, as the bus was traveling north on 7th, Pickett said, he began arguing with a woman who boarded the bus with a toddler.
“She was spanking her son for something he did,” Pickett testified, speaking of Penny Chapman, 20, one of six defendants at yesterday’s preliminary hearing.
“I said, ‘That’s child abuse.’ ”
Pickett said he then saw Chapman talk on her cellphone. When the bus stopped and Chapman got off with the boy, she said to a man outside: ” ‘Shoot that n—–,’ ” Pickett testified.
“I stood up, I was froze for a minute, but then I saw them actually shooting,” said Pickett, who scrambled over a railing to run to the front of the bus before bullets flew. Video clips showed other frightened passengers also rushing to the front of the bus, or ducking in the rear. An elderly woman appeared dazed as she stood in the middle of the bus, then crawled beneath a seat just as shots were fired.
Luckily, none of the 10 passengers or the driver was hit. The driver, Desmond Jones, quickly drove off, bringing the passengers to Temple University Hospital.
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