A Metro transit system employee in Washington, D.C., was shot dead while trying to protect commuters from a gunman on February 1.
Robert Cunningham intervened to protect travelers at Potomac Avenue Station and became a victim of senseless gun violence. Mr. Cunningham was 64 years old and a mechanic in Metro’s power department. In his remembrance, Metro has lowered its flags to half-staff during this time of grief.
At least two other people were shot and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and a suspect has been arrested, authorities said.
The shootings began shortly after 9 a.m. ET Wednesday on a Metrobus in southeastern Washington, when the gunman got in an altercation with a man on the bus. The two men got off the bus and the gunman shot that commuter, police said.
The gunman then entered the Potomac Avenue Metro Station and shot and injured a second commuter, according to police statements. When the gunman aimed his weapon next at a female commuter, Cunningham tried to intervene and the gunman shot and killed him, police said.
“On behalf of the Metro Board, words cannot express how saddened we are to learn about the death of Mr. Cunningham,” said Metro Chair Paul C. Smedberg in a Board statement. “We understand that the employee acted with extreme bravery to help a customer who was being threatened by the shooter. To the family of the Metro employee, please accept our sincerest condolences. The Board is working with management to support the Metro family.”
Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke conveyed his profound sadness about the loss of a Metro family member. “We grieve for our employee, his family, and all who have been affected by this senseless tragedy,” Clarke said. “Gun violence must stop. Unfortunately, Metro is not immune to the violence that our country is experiencing right now. These senseless acts must be addressed together by our leaders and community. We will take time to process this loss and take care of our employees. We are all hurting and will continue to lean on each other for support.”
Read more at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority