Security at Nashville bus terminal increased after 4 shot

AP News
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Posted: Apr 26, 2016 5:55 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville police are increasing security at a downtown bus terminal in the aftermath of shootings that wounded four teenage boys, as the school system and city officials try to reassure residents the station is safe for children.

The terminal is a central transfer station for schoolchildren and other passengers. About 4,500 children travel through it every day, going back and forth to school, jobs and extracurricular activities, Nashville Metro Transit Authority CEO Steve Bland said Tuesday.

At least one school principal had planned to ride a city bus with students to give some reassurance to the kids, Metro Nashville Schools spokeswoman Ameerah Palacios said.

Javious Chatman, 18, was seriously injured in Monday's shooting, but his condition had improved to stable by Tuesday, police said in a news release. In addition, the release said, three boys, two 16 and one 17, were also shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The Music City Central terminal was crowded when shots were fired near an upper level escalator around 3:30 p.m., the statement said, and people began running at the sound of gunfire.

The shooting was "seemingly targeted," and police think the three teens who suffered less serious injuries were hit by stray rounds.

Investigators are looking at video surveillance and pursing other leads to determine the shooter.

"Going forward for the rest of the school year, the district is helping MTA and Metro Police keep even more officers at the bus terminal and other places where young people gather," Metro School officials said in a statement. "Metro Schools is also working closely with the mayor's office and other city partners to address the serious issue of youth violence."

The Oasis Center, an organization that helps at-risk kids, announced it was holding a peace rally at the bus terminal Tuesday afternoon.

The terminal has 44 surveillance cameras, and normally has five to eight security officers on duty, and the buses each have anywhere from three to five cameras on board, Bland said. The terminal is normally one of the safest places downtown, he said.

"By far, this is the most serious incident we've ever had here," Bland said.