Safety questions after fatal light rail shooting: ‘Do you start patting people down?’

Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 - 1:35 pm
Last Modified: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 - 4:45 pm

Riders today questioned how to improve safety aboard light rail trains in the wake of Thursday’s shooting death of a man aboard a train.

“Someone was able to get onto public transportation with a firearm,” said Cheryl Allen, who works near the 11th and O streets site of the shooting. “What should we do? Do you start patting people down? With the (Transportation Security Administration), you can’t wear shoes and all these things to get onto a plane. That’s public transportation. What are our options as law-abiding citizens?”

Authorities said a woman on the two-car train fired multiple shots, stirking a man whose body was found by medics outside the train door. The woman, Lynnsey Evakarla Braun, 32, was arrested today on suspicion of murder

At the time of the shooting, 21 contract security guards were on duty, 10 of them riding trains. No guards were on the train where the shooting occured.

Allen’s co-worker, Anthony Parks led his co-workers to a window at Caltrans headquarters, 1121 O St., where a bullet hole pierced the glass - presumably a stray round from the shooting. Behind the blinds, someone was sweeping broken glass from the sill.

An Regional Transit poster near the cracked window implores riders to “See it. Hear it. Report it,” asking passengers to stay alert and report suspicious activity.

Caltrans officials said Friday no one was in the office, part of Caltrans’ legal division, at the time of the shooting and that the office has been sealed as part of authorities’ ongoing investigation.

“I ride (the light rail) every evening,” Parks said. “It’s scary.”

Scott Nicolson and others who work near the light rail line stopped and looked at the office window.

“Why does someone feel the need to be packing weapons on a train unless they have in the back of their mind that they’re going to use them,” Nicolson said. “It’s outrageous.”

Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040. Bee staff writer Bill Lindelof contributed to this report.

Read more articles by Darrell Smith

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