Shots fired at Niles school bus

Published 12:26 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A bus transporting 20 Niles students home from school Tuesday afternoon was struck by projectiles from a pellet or BB gun, according to police.

Chief Jim Millin, of the Niles Police Department, said no one was injured.

Police were dispatched at approximately 2:50 p.m. to the intersection of Michigan and South 15th for a report of two school bus windows being shot.

Millin said police believe the shots came from a BB gun or pellet gun due to the type of damage caused to the windows: two holes and spider-web cracks.

Police also interviewed people who were in the area at the time of the incident and no one heard gun shots.

“That’s why we think it was a BB gun,” Millin said.

No arrest has been made and the case remains under investigation.

According to a statement from Niles Community Schools, the students on the bus were secondary students from Niles High School, Ring Lardner Middle School and Oak Manor Sixth Grade Center.

The statement said parents were notified immediately and students were transferred to another bus and returned home safely.

The school district said the bus was not on its normal route due to an obstruction that caused it to take an alternate route. The obstruction has been removed and the normal route will be used moving forward.

Millin said his department receives reports from time to time about school bus windows being shot out while they are parked. This is the first time he can remember that a bus has been shot while in motion and carrying students.

“It can be very dangerous. Kids think it is just messing around, but if you hit a kid on there then it’s a whole different charge,” he said. “They don’t think about that.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Niles Police Department at (269) 683-1313.