Witnesses recall man menacing RTA bus with AK 47; shooting driver

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - An RTA driver recovers from a graze wound after a harrowing ordeal on a bus.

Witnesses say he was shot by a man - armed with an AK-47 - who claimed someone was out to get him.

It began Thursday around 10:30 p.m near the corner of St. Claude and  Louisa.

"We see a guy ranting up St. Claude and aimlessly shooting," said a resident, who we are not identifying.

Witnesses say a man armed with an AK-47 was walking the street firing his weapon.

"Sounded like he said, 'They after me, they after me, they trying to get me,'" said the witness.

As this witness ducked for cover, he said others ran up in fear.

After terrorizing residents and business people along St. Claude Ave., witnesses say the gunman then got on a bus bound for the Ninth Ward.

"He pulled the gun out about 20 minutes after that because he said somebody was following the bus and holding on to the bus," one woman said

The woman had just finished her shift at a downtown guest house. She said the gunman, identified by police as 30-year-old Dimitris Polk, was armed with an AK 47 and forced the driver to steer the bus through the Ninth Ward.

"We said, 'Please don't shoot us.' And he told us, 'Don't move.' And he told the bus driver keep driving," the woman said.

She said the gunman was sweating profusely and then opened fire at someone he thought was holding on to the back of the bus.

"When he shot, it ricocheted and it hit the driver," she said.

The passenger said after forcing the bus driver to drive around the neighborhood for 30 minutes, the gunman finally got off at a home on Flood Street.

"All of us were saying keep driving, because he was trying to get back on the bus, and the driver took off," the woman said.

She said the 51-year-old driver did just that after suffering a graze wound to the arm.

"The bus driver had blood all on him," said the woman.

After this week's shooting in Florida, the passenger feared the worst.

"I don't think someone should carry a gun like that. That is a dangerous weapon," she said.

She said through the entire ordeal, all she could do was think of her family.

Officers booked Polk with several counts of  aggravated assault as well as  aggravated burglary and illegal use of a weapon.

The RTA says the driver was treated at the hospital and released.

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