Bus driver shot with nail gun in racist attack

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The Independent Online

A black woman bus driver was shot in the stomach with a nail gun by a motorcyclist who shouted that he "hated Somalians".

A black woman bus driver was shot in the stomach with a nail gun by a motorcyclist who shouted that he "hated Somalians".

The victim, who is in her early 40s, needed surgery to remove the 2.5-inch nail from her abdomen, Scotland Yard said.

The motorcyclist pulled alongside the No 328 bus in west London while it was stationary in traffic, police said last night. The man fired what detectives believed to be a nail gun through the driver's window. The nail smashed through the driver's window and into the woman's stomach.

The bus was heading south on the Great Western Road, close to the junction with Woodfield Road in Maida Vale on Monday at about 5.15pm when the attack happened, Scotland Yard said. The bus travels from Golders Green to Chelsea.

Paramedics were called to the scene and the driver was taken to a central London hospital for surgery to remove the nail. She has since been discharged.

A Scotland Yard spokes- woman said that the attack was being treated as racist. She said: "It is alleged that the person on the motorcycle shouted that he hated Somalians. We have to establish if he knew the driver, who we are only describing as black. We need to establish the motive."

The motorcyclist was identified as male but his racial background and approximate age could not be determined by witnesses who have come forward so far as he was wearing a dark-tinted crash helmet. The victim was not Somali, police said.

Detective Inspector Aidan Beck said: "Luckily, the victim only received relatively minor injuries, but the distress this incident has caused her is unimaginable.

"I am appealing to anyone who was travelling on the No 328 bus on Monday afternoon. At that time the bus would have been busy with people travelling home from school and work, and I want to speak to them.

"Also, I would like to speak to anyone who was driving along the Great Western Road at the time and who may have seen the motorcyclist before or after this incident."

Anyone with information was asked by police to contact the incident room at Paddington police station on 020 7321 8517 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.