Bus driver hailed as hero after North Seattle shooting: 'He saved lives'

SEATTLE -- A bus driver is being called a hero after officials say he moved passengers to safety after being shot Wednesday in North Seattle.

The driver, identified by officials as 53-year-old Eric Stark, was shot while driving a route 75 bus Wednesday afternoon.

Undated courtesy photo of Eric Stark (Photo: Cait Stark)

Police say a gunman opened fire on the southbound bus after shooting a 56-year-old woman who was also driving in the area of in the area of Sand Point Way NE and Bartlett Avenue.  She and Stark were both hospitalized and were in satisfactory condition as of Wednesday evening.

Authorities say Stark was able to move the bus to a safe location after being shot.  In a press conference Wednesday evening, city officials hailed his actions as heroic.

"He saved lives," Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said.

King County Executive Dow Constantine says Stark hit his emergency alert button after being shot, which prompted police to respond to the area.

"We are tremendously grateful that his injuries were not more serious," he said. "He acted heroically and put the well-being of his passengers above all else."

Officials say the suspect fatally shot a man who was driving another vehicle after opening fire on the bus. Another man died in a car crash involving the suspect. He was hospitalized in stable condition after being taken into custody.

Seattle Police are still investigating the motive of the shooter.