PHILADELPHIA, PA – Tragedy struck in Germantown as a SEPTA bus driver, 48-year-old Bernard Gribbin, was fatally shot in what authorities describe as a “targeted” attack. The incident occurred near Germantown and Abbottsford avenues at around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday. Gribbin, who had been driving the Route 23 bus, suffered six gunshot wounds to the chest and stomach, resulting in his tragic death at a local hospital.
SEPTA officials expressed their sorrow over the loss of a valued employee who had dedicated 12 years to the organization. Gribbin was a married man, making his untimely passing all the more devastating for his loved ones.
According to Philadelphia police, the shooting was carried out by a female suspect who initially exited the bus before abruptly turning back and firing multiple shots at the bus driver. She then reentered the bus, continuing to discharge her firearm. Surveillance video captured the suspect’s actions, showing her repeatedly boarding and disembarking from the bus.
In a swift response, SEPTA police apprehended a female suspect matching the shooter’s description shortly after the incident. She has been identified as 21-year-old Zhontay Capers. She now faces charges for murder and other related offenses in connection with the bus driver’s tragic death.
Eyewitnesses described the chaos that unfolded onboard the bus during the shooting. Passengers desperately sought to escape the danger by leaping out of windows and emergency exits.
As this heart-wrenching incident unfolded, SEPTA Union members gathered at the Transport Workers Union headquarters to express their concerns, particularly regarding their safety. Coincidentally, it was the same day that their colleague lost his life on bus Route 23.
SEPTA employees had been preparing for a potential strike scheduled for November 1. However, they have since reached a tentative agreement with the union. In honor of their fallen co-worker, Transit Workers Union Local 234 erected a billboard near their headquarters.