Deborah Judd, 56, sits in her hospital bed at Harborview Medical Center and talks about the injuries that she suffered in a shooting a day earlier, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Seattle. The afternoon shooting spree and car-jacking in Seattle, which left two dead and two wounded. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
SEATTLE – Old school teacher Deborah Judd has grown accustomed to the active-shooter drill in her second grade classroom. She was less willing to see that a shooter in the street, on the way home.
She was the first to be shot by a man as he opened fire on the cars in Seattle neighborhood, seemingly at random, leaving two people dead, and injured a bus driver was praised for getting the passengers to safety.
“He walked right in the middle of the road and he shot me, then he shot me again,” Judd, 56, told reporters from her hospital bed Thursday. “I think I always thought that such a thing could happen in the school, because we talk so much about school shootings.
“But I never thought that I would have to drive home in my car and someone would step into the street and shoot me,” she said.
Judd was on his way home to suburban According to on Wednesday after a meeting at Laurelhurst elementary School, “zipping along, I think I was eating Cheez-Its,” she said.
When she saw the shooter. He shot into her windshield as she got close and fired again after the car came to a stop on a road that follows a ridge above Lake Washington in the residential sector to the northeast of Seattle.
Bullets lodged in her arm, shoulder and lung. Judd said she fell on the emergency brake of her car and remained still — wondering why nobody helped her, until the recording stopped.
The shooter next fired into a King County Metro bus, striking the driver, and approached a car that had slowed down and shot again, killing the 50-year-old man behind the wheel and on the run in his car as officers arrived, authorities said.
The police says suspect Tad Michael Norman, 33, crashed the head into a another vehicle, killing the 70-year-old man driving. Norman was taken into custody after a brief confrontation, police said.
The investigators have no information about a possible motive. Norman, who lives near the shooting scene, was jailed on suspicion of homicide, assault, and theft. He had his first appearance Friday, and it was not clear whether he had obtained a lawyer who could speak on behalf of him.
Norman will not have a significant criminal history in the state of Washington. He was a supplier with Microsoft, and his contract ended last year, a company representative said.
The bus driver, Eric Stark, 53, was shot in the torso, but still managed to get his passengers to safety, authorities said. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said he “saved many lives and took action even after harmed.”
Stark, recovering in a hospital Thursday, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” and that “it is what any other driver would be able to do if they are physically able.”
“I thought really fast for some decks, it was used as a two-second assessment of my injuries and thought, ‘well, I can breathe, I can think, I see, and I can talk,'” said Stark. “So for me, that was enough to go, ‘OK, we get here. I have for these people from here.'”
None of the passengers aboard the bus were injured, King County Metro said.
John Barrett told Seattle news station KOMO-TV that he was in his garage when he heard what sounded like firecrackers. Barrett went outside and saw a man pointing a gun at people as he walked in a street, to “shoot at anything but without any regard.”
Judd cried as she recounted hearing the shot that killed the 50-year-old and wondered if he had stopped to help her. They said that they decided not to talk to reporters, so that her students could see that she was all right.
“I want to make sure that the children know that I was OK and that I have you again soon and I love them,” she said. “You’re 7 years old and you must be the process of your teacher being shot. It is not OK. It is not OK. That will be something that sticks in their life forever.”