Washington state school bus driver attacked with knife, killed in front of students, police say; suspect arrested

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A school bus driver in Washington state was stabbed and killed in an attack that happened in front of elementary school students late last week, authorities said.

The driver was attacked Friday around 3 p.m. local time as children were boarding the bus at Longfellow Elementary School in Pasco, Washington, located near the Columbia River close by the Washington-Oregon border, the Pasco Police Department said.

A man boarded the bus and started attacking the driver with a knife, police told The Tri-City Herald.

Police were called and found the driver suffering from an assault, Police Capt. Bill Parramore said in a news conference. Students on board the bus and others nearby were uninjured and "brought back to the school immediately," Parramore said.

Photos from the scene show the bus on a curb, crashed into some nearby hedges. The Tri-City Herald reported the driver lost control of the bus during the attack.

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Parents were called after the incident and told to pick up their students from the school as police investigated. The school bus driver was transported to a local hospital, where he later died of his injuries, Parramore said.

The suspect remained at the scene after the attack and was taken into custody, Parramore added. Police have not released the suspect's identity or a motive in the attack but said more information would be released Monday.

Parramore said counselors were going to be available at Longfellow Elementary School and for those at their transportation offices, for staff and those who worked with the bus driver, whose name has not been publicly released by authorities.

In a message to parents and staff, Pasco School District Superintendent Michelle Whitney noted the availability of counselors and reminded parents "events like these can trigger strong and unexpected emotional reactions."

"We are devastated by the tragic loss of one of our own. Our focus right now is on supporting our students and staff who are deeply impacted by this tragedy," Whitney said. "We are deeply saddened by the events of today."

Whitney added: "As our community processes these events, please keep a watchful eye on each other and reach out if you need us."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Washington state bus driver stabbed to death in front of students

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