Bus driver shot with bolt gun

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The Independent Online

A bus driver was shot by a bolt gun today as he drove his vehicle, a service operator said.

Steve Palmer, 49, is recovering at home from injuries to his arm after he was hit by a projectile fired from the weapon in Henbury, Bristol.

First Group suspended all services along the Crow Lane route after the "distressing" incident, and hopes to reinstate them in time for the evening rush hour.

A spokesman for the company stressed it was a rare and isolated occurrence.

He said: "Our bus drivers work very hard to get people where they want to go and it's wholly unacceptable for them to be put at risk while performing their duties.

"For this reason we temporarily suspended all services along Crow Lane. We do not suspend services lightly, but we had no option in this case.

"The matter was reviewed late this afternoon and a decision was taken to begin running services again in time for the evening rush hour.

"We would like to extend our apologies to any customers affected by this decision to suspend services earlier today, and ask that they join with us in condemning the actions of those behind this incident."

A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "We believe this was an isolated incident, and we are treating it seriously as we would for any incident of this type.

"It's regrettable bearing in mind all the good work that has been done in the area. We have achieved a 40% reduction in anti-social behaviour in the last three months, working closely with the community and increasing public confidence and safety.

"We are fully investigating this incident. We have interviewed the bus driver, we have carried out searches in Crow Lane and we are looking at CCTV footage.

"We will be increasing our neighbourhood patrols this evening and over the weekend. We would appeal for information from the community to help catch the person who fired at the bus."