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Washington state bus driver stabbed to death in front of elementary school students

NBC News logo NBC News 9/26/2021 Kalhan Rosenblatt
© Provided by NBC News

A bus driver in Washington state was fatally stabbed in front of a group of elementary school students riding the bus Friday, police said.

Students from Longfellow Elementary School in Pasco were aboard the bus when an older man boarded and began stabbing the driver, who was not identified, police said, NBC affiliate KNDU reported.

The driver lost control of the bus, which jumped the curb and crashed into some bushes, the Tri-City Herald of Kennewick reported.

The suspect, who has not been identified, waited at the scene for police to arrive and was taken into custody, the Herald reported. The driver was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead.

No children were physically harmed, KNDU reported.

In a letter to families, Pasco School District Superintendent Michelle Whitney said counselors would be available for students and staff members.

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

Pasco Mayor Saul Martinez said he was "in deep shock over the senseless death."

"Tragedies such as Friday's death are difficult to comprehend," Martinez said. "My thoughts are with everyone that has been touched by this death, especially the family of the driver and the students who were impacted. It is one thing to say children are our most precious resource, but Friday's incident made it true in a very frightening way."

Martinez said police would continue to investigate. Officials said they planned to release more information Monday, the Herald reported.

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