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Man killed on GRTC bus in Richmond

Posted at 10:01 AM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 23:29:14-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond Police are investigating the shooting death of a man on a GRTC bus.

The victim has been identified as 22-year-old Jonathan Contreras of Richmond.

Police said that they don't believe the Richmond man was a random target.

Police were called to respond to the shooting along the 4000 block of Hull Street, near Southside Plaza, at about 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

"Two passengers onboard a GRTC bus were involved in a confrontation with each other that resulted in gunfire and one passenger being shot and killed," a GRTC spokesperson wrote in an email about the violence. "GRTC was able to retrieve on-board security footage for investigators overnight that includes both an audio and video recording of the inside and outside of the bus."

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In an email that asked witnesses to come forward with information, Richmond Police did not indicate whether anyone was taken into custody for the shooting.

A GRTC passenger who claimed to be onboard when shots were fired told CBS6 that the altercation that led to the shooting was about money.

Crime Insider sources confirm that detectives have been told that's what the argument was about.

GRTC CEO Julie Timm said GRTC was "grieved for the terrible violence and loss of a life that occurred" and that the company "extend[ed] our sincere condolences to the friends and loved ones of our bus passenger who died."

She also praised the bus driver.

"Their quick-thinking, situational awareness, and active shooter safety training ensured GRTC Radio Supervision was notified of the escalating conflict before gunfire occurred, which enabled the fastest emergency response possible by police and EMS," Timm wrote in an email. "This was a horrific experience and GRTC has professional counselors available for any staff seeking help.”

Collin Phelps has ridden the Southside bus route for years and said that he depends on it.

"There's already enough problems with buses being slow and late. If they want to wand us, we'd feel like criminals and it would slow it down even more," Phelps said.

Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call Major Crimes Detective P. Ripley at 804-646-0423 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.