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'I was so scared' | School bus full of students caught in crossfire of north St. Louis shooting

"I told my sister to run first and then I ran down the street," said 12-year-old Jonathan Bradford.

ST. LOUIS — It was a terrifying day for neighbors.

A woman, who wished to remain anonymous, described the sound of several bullets hitting her home as she crouched on the floor. "It just sounded like 'boom, boom, boom.' That's what I heard," 

Outside, students were also terrified by the bullets that pelted the Walnut Park West neighborhood in north St. Louis around 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.

It happened just as students from Kipp Triumph Academy were getting off their school bus.

Investigators say someone believed to be in a grey or silver SUV fired shots at another car and sped off. The 19-year-old driver lost control of her car, slammed into the school bus and caused the bus to smash into a previously condemned house.

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"I told my sister to run first, " said 12-year-old Jonathan Bradford.

Jonathan, his sister and six classmates dashed off their school bus and ran for their lives as bullets kept flying near Floy and Lenora Avenue.

"We got off the bus and then we started running up the street and they started shooting. I was so scared," Jonathan said.

"I was on the ground and then I went up on a porch and ran. I was scared, too," said sixth-grader Syrria Johnson.

The children's grandmother couldn't believe it.

"I head about all that shooting and I ran up here, worried about my grand-babies," Sharon Bradford-Johnson said through tears. "All of the parents just wanted to make sure their kids got home safe. I just hate to see any child go through this stuff. It's painful."

Phoenix Anderson, 13, said she helped the bleeding driver of the car.

"I stopped on one of the corners and the lady started screaming 'help me,' so I helped her across to the other corner," Phoenix said.

It was initially reported that the woman was shot but police later confirmed she wasn't shot. Police said she suffered a broken leg and the passenger, a 22-year-old man, suffered a broken arm.

A second adult was also shot. As of Friday night, police had not released any more information about the conditions of the two people who were shot.

Police spent the afternoon and evening looking for the grey or silver SUV.

"Something has to really be done about all these shootings. I'm so sick of it all," said the neighbor who had bullets hit her home. "Yes, I was scared for my life. All I was doing was trying to leave my house. I'm very thankful to be alive."

A GoFundMe page has been started to help the bus driver with unexpected medical costs.


O'FALLON, Mo. - Mel Emge, battalion chief of the O'Fallon Fire Protection District, has passed away. The department made the announcement on Facebook late Thursday night. "It is with profound sadness that the O'Fallon Fire Protection District announces the passing of Battalion Chief Mel Emge. Please keep the Emge family in your thoughts and prayers.

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