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Bomb Squad Called To Investigate After Megabus Shooting


UPDATED: Tuesday May 27, 2014 12:40 PM

Megabus passengers are hailing their driver a hero after he stood up to a man they said was determined to steal the charter bus.

The incident took place at Spring and 4th Avenues in downtown Columbus around 11:10 a.m. Monday.

Columbus police told 10TV they received a 911 call about a gunman holding the bus hostage.

"The guy sitting next to me gestured he has a gun, whispered he has a gun, so I called 911," said bus passenger Jon Gleason.

When Columbus Police arrived, the first responding officer confronted Arsenio Rodriguez, 26, Maryland, who had a gun pointed at the driver's head. Police said the suspect was yelling at the driver to get out and leave the keys in the ignition, but the driver refused to budge.

"I was talking to him, he says he grew up on the south side of Chicago. It wasn't the first time he had a gun pointed at him," said Gleason.

Police were forced to open fire. A bullet struck Rodriguez's gun and shattered in his hand. Another bullet also struck an innocent passenger on the bus.

Both people were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The passenger has since been treated and released from the hospital.

Investigators said Rodriguez was armed with an air soft gun, but police said the driver had no way of knowing that. Officers said his courage may have saved a lot of innocent people.

"He did not surrender that bus. He did not give the bad guy the opportunity to drive off with all those people so he is truly the hero here today," said Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner.

Police said Rodriguez suffers from known mental health issues.

Bomb Squad investigators were also called to check out a suspicious package on the bus after the shooting.

Rodriguez is now charged with robbery.

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