UPDATE: Suspect in bus driver shooting was not charged after fatal shooting in 2015

February 08, 2019 10:32 PM

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office Friday confirmed the suspect charged with shooting a bus driver during a minor collision on Interstate 35W in Minneapolis earlier this week also fatally shot a 16-year-old suspect who was among a group allegedly attempting to rob him and another individual in July 2015.

The county attorney's office declined to seek criminal charges against Kenneth Lilly in that case, saying his use of deadly force was legally justified in the shooting of Lavauntai Detrone Broadbent.


RELATED: Robbery victim with gun permit shoots suspect in St. Paul

RELATED: No charges filed against victim who shot, killed armed robber in St. Paul

Lilly, 31, of St. Paul faces one count of second-degree attempted murder and one count of second-degree assault in connection to the shooting of the bus driver Tuesday.

He made his first court appearance in that matter Friday, and was released on bond on the conditions he has no contact with the school bus driver, does not possess firearms and turns over his permit-to-carry.

His next court appearance is scheduled for March 8.

Court records show he is being represented by St. Paul attorneys Charles Clippert and Thomas Plunkett. Plunkett is also representing Mohamed Noor, the now-former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Justine Damond in July 2017.

"The first thing we would like to do is express our concern to the bus driver and the child," Plunkett said after court.

"Mr. Lilly is very concerned about their well-being and extends his well wishes to them. This is a complicated case. More information will be coming out about the case and we appreciate that you give us and Mr. Lilly the opportunity to complete our investigation so that we can do a fair job for everyone."

RELATED: Man charged in connection to shooting of bus driver in Minneapolis

The 78-year-old bus driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, is still in satisfactory condition at Hennepin County Medical Center.

On Friday, he issued a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS:

"The safety of the kids on my bus are my first priority and I care for them as if they were my own grandkids," he said. "I'm so thankful no one else was hurt.

"Please everyone be careful in this weather. We all want to get home safely."

According to a criminal complaint, Minneapolis police officers were called to a shooting Tuesday on Interstate 35W near Chicago Avenue.

The complaint said the bus driver was trying to merge onto the interstate in inclement weather when the bus scraped Lilly's vehicle. Lilly then allegedly stopped his car in the lane of traffic and walked toward the bus. He reportedly approached the passenger door of the bus and attempted to get on.

RELATED: New MnDOT video shows lead-up to shooting on Interstate 35W

The driver told Lilly he could not get on because a child was onboard, the complaint states. 

It goes on to allege video showed Lilly walking toward the front of the bus when the bus appeared to slowly pull into traffic, and that he then pulled out a pistol and fired five shots at the windshield of the bus. 

After firing the shots, Lilly called 911. The complaint said the school bus driver suffered a wound to his left arm and a graze wound on his head.

RELATED: Police say school bus driver shot on I-35W after crash, 1 in custody

Lilly later told officers that he feared for his life, and said that is why he shot the bus driver, according to the complaint. However, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said the video showed Lilly had retreated to a safe spot before walking in front of the school bus and shooting at the driver.

Plunkett said after the court appearance Friday that Lilly is thinking about the school bus driver's well-being.

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Brandi Powell

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