The Greyhound passenger who is accused of killing one fellow traveler and wounding four others in a shooting on a Los Angeles-bound bus was paranoid about going to a “dangerous city,” authorities said Thursday.
Asaahdi Elijah Coleman, 21, of Sacramento, received a phone call that made him agitated before he allegedly opened fire during a stop at a convenience store in Oroville, Calif., on Wednesday evening, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said.
“He began to have a conversation with other members on the bus,” Honea said at a press conference of Coleman’s behavior after the call.
“I think the conversations at this point can best be characterized as him acting paranoid and agitated.”
He said the conversation shifted to “whether or not people were going to Los Angeles, and Los Angeles being a dangerous place.”
“And that conversation then prompted Mr. Coleman to show some of the people on the bus a firearm that he had in a small bag or satchel,” Honea added.
Coleman allegedly was under the impression that one of the passengers was an undercover cop, which “resulted in his agitation” and caused a confrontation.
He allegedly shot a 43-year-old woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
The shooting critically wounded two of the victims, a 32-year-old man and a 25-year-old pregnant woman, authorities said.
A 38-year old man suffered minor injuries and is expected to be released, while an 11-year-old girl who was shot is in stable condition, officials said.
After the shooting, Coleman got off the bus and ran toward a construction area where he dropped the gun, officials said.
Coleman then ran inside a nearby Walmart, where he had a verbal altercation with a woman, authorities said. The woman’s boyfriend fought with Coleman, who then headed to the front of the store and took off his clothes.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the store and apprehended the crazed, naked gunman, authorities said.
“Ultimately, this is a horrific tragedy that was visited upon our community,” Honea said. “Another tragedy that we’re having to deal with and endure in this community. Certainly, my heart goes out to all the people that were on the bus as well as the victims in this case.”
Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey said charges are expected to be filed against Coleman on Friday afternoon.
Coleman currently has a warrant for his arrest on a firearm possessions charge and a probation violation out of Alameda County, Ramsey said. He also has a juvenile record and is also on a list that prohibits him from owning or possessing a firearm.