BROWN DEER -- A Milwaukee County Transit System bus driver is taking time off after a situation involving an "unruly" passenger ended with an officer-involved shooting in Brown Deer on Monday, March 14th.
The driver's husband said his wife can't stop thinking about what happened near 60th and Donna. He spoke with the media on Thursday, March 17th and asked that his identity not be revealed.
"Mentally, she is destroyed. It's been bothering her a great deal," he said.
On Monday, the driver was operating a MCTS bus in Brown Deer, when a passenger became unruly, swearing at her after apparently asking about a transfer.
"He went to the back. She felt very uncomfortable -- so the first officer she saw, she flagged him down," the driver's husband said.
The driver told her husband that when the officer approached the man, he became more angry.
"He was very irate, wouldn't let them grab him or put him in the handcuffs. She said he was a very big man -- 400 lbs, 6', 6'1", and that he was just throwing them around effortlessly," the driver's husband said.
Off the bus, the situation escalated and the 26-year-old Milwaukee man was shot by a female Brown Deer police officer. As of Thursday, the suspect remained in the hospital.
After the shooting...
"She said she pulled off, tunnel vision, and she just said she was very scared," the driver's husband said.
The driver's husband said security on MCTS buses has always been a concern. On Thursday, the bus drivers' union president echoed that.
"Talking to drivers, the security is scared of the passengers. Our security is pretty much not given permission to do too much," said James Macon, president of ATU Local 998.
More than 30 security guards cover 400 Milwaukee County routes. A spokesman for MCTS said the buses are safe.
"Much like there is not a police officer on every corner, there is not a security guard on every bus, but our buses are very secure," said Brendan Conway, MCTS spokesman.
Safety on board buses is an issue now brought to the forefront as a driver tries to cope with what happened.
"She's destroyed right now," the driver's husband said.
The driver has not been back to work since the incident. Her husband said after everything that's happened, he's not sure she ever will.
Brown Deer Police Chief Michael Kass said Thursday the officer who fired at the suspect is a 26-year-old woman with five years of experience at Brown Deer Police Department. Her partner is a 33-year-old man with two years experience at Brown Deer.
Both officers were injured during this confrontation -- and both have been placed on administrative duty pending the investigation. That is standard protocol.
Chief Kass indicated Milwaukee police are reviewing video from inside the bus -- and attempting to identify any additional witnesses to this incident. He also urged anyone with information to contact Milwaukee police.
Milwaukee police are handling the investigation into this officer-involved shooting.