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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An 18-year-old has been charged after a man was shot on an MTA bus in Madison and died just hours later on Monday.
The shooting happened near the intersection of Gallatin Pike and Due West Avenue around 12 p.m.
Police said the suspected gunman, now identified as Antonio Jones, and the victim, Tyvonceea Hayden, got on the bus at the Madison Public Library. Witnesses reported he and Hayden briefly exchanged words before a shot was fired.
Hayden, also 18, was shot in the chest and was taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center where he died a short time later.
According to police spokesman Don Aaron, Jones, his girlfriend and an infant all got off the bus and fled in opposite directions at the Gallatin Pike bus stop.
The woman and baby were located a short time later on Due West Avenue. Jones, 18, later surrendered to police at East Precinct. Police said he and Hayden were acquaintances and that the victim had apparently been in a relationship with a member of Jones’ family.
Police said Jones did not have a previous adult criminal record. He is now charged with criminal homicide.
No one else on the Route 56 bus was hurt thanks, in part, to the driver. According to an MTA spokesperson, each of their bus drivers undergo nine weeks of intensive training, and then must pass a probationary period.
“Protocol was followed to a T here, and that helped minimize what could have been a potentially worse incident,” said Amanda Clelland.
When there is an emergency, drivers send out a “discreet” emergency signal, which alerts MTA dispatch as well as Metro Nashville police.
“At that point the driver is to pull over immediately and open up the doors to allow any passengers who may be on board to safely exit the vehicle so they can minimize any potential damages and injuries,” said Clelland.
Clelland wouldn’t reveal with the discreet, emergency signal looks like for safety reasons.
She says she believes the driver did everything right in this incident, but they will still review it.
“We’re constantly looking at our practices in light of incidents like this,” Clelland told News 2. “We would review, debrief after the police investigation is over in order to assess where things went right and things could go better so that we can improve those services. Passenger safety is our #1 priority.”
Clelland said the driver will have at least a couple days off and will be offered employee assistance.
According to our records, this is the deadliest year for teens, surpassing even 2015 when Metro police said Nashville had a youth violence problem. Twenty-three teens aged 19 and under have been murdered this year, while 14 teens aged 19 and under have been arrested for murder.