UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (DC News Now) — A bus driver has been left traumatized after an attempted shooting on a Prince George’s County school bus. She’s demanding more security to keep not only students safe, but also employees.
Natalie Brewer has been a bus driver with Prince George’s County Public Schools for nearly three years. On May 1, her life changed drastically — to the point where she was not sure if she wants to return to work.
“When I saw the handler that gun, the only thing I could do was call on the name of Jesus, and when I called on the name of Jesus, that gun jammed, and I saw those live rounds come out at a clip,” said Brewer.
What started off as a normal day dropping off students took a turn for the worst when three teens jumped on the school near a bus stop in Oxon Hill and began attacking a student.
“Within a split second three mass, guys, we’re hooked. He’s jumped on the bus and started beating, hitting and kicking my last student that was on the bus,” she said.
Brewer feared for her life when she realized one of the teens had a gun. One of those suspects, “Baby K” (whose real name is Kaden Dominique Holland), attempted to shoot the victim three times but the gun jammed.
“Thank god that gun jammed. I might not be here today,” she said.
She says then she heard one of the suspects yell, “Let’s take him off the bus,” but they didn’t and ran off.
“When they ran off the bus, [the victim] said let’s go let’s go, they’re trying to kill me,” she said.
She drove nearly a mile away from where the incident happened, parked and called her job. They called police, which is protocol.
Nearly two weeks later, two suspects were arrested. A 14-year-old and 15-year-old are currently held without bond and being charged as adults with attempted first and second-degree murder.
The other suspect, Holland was on the run for nearly a month. In court on Thursday, his lawyer Keith Showstack said Holland was on his way to surrender at his office when U.S. Marhsals and Prince George’s County Police arrested him in the parking lot.
Holland is also being charged as an adult for first and second-degree attempted murder. He’s being held without bond in an adult detention center.
A teen girl was also arrested. She’s being charged for helping plan the attack.
Martin Diggs is the president of ACE-AFSCME Local 2250, the educational support personnel union that also represents bus drivers. He said buses have a panic button that’s supposed to contact police directly if there’s an emergency on the bus, but not many drivers know about it and it’s not working.
“We’ve been told that there is and from my research, that button is not active. And even with the radios, the two-way radios that are currently on the buses — they’re not connected to the newer equipment that’s actually coming out that’s connected to the police department,” he said.
Diggs said they’ve sent 50 recommendations to the PGCPS CEO for changes they would like to see. Many of them were fulfilled, except for a few that discussed more security in schools, employee buildings, and aids on every school bus.
Brewer and Diggs, along with the hundreds of employees they represent, are hoping leaders finally make some changes.
“Don’t want the schoolyard to be a graveyard. We want the county to take the savings recommendation series and make some changes now,” he said.
Holland and the three other teens charged in this case will have a pretrial hearing in the coming weeks.