School bus driver shot on South Side

A school bus driver was hit by a stray bullet on the city’s South Side yesterday.

Joe Bradley is recovering at home today after a potentially deadly day at work Wednesday. The veteran school bus driver says he thought rowdy kids were his biggest cause of concern on the job, but he’d already dropped them off when shots started to fly at him while he was behind the wheel.

“I was not too far from a corner grocery store, there were lots of kids around,” he said.  “I hear ‘bam bam bam bam,’ then a screech.  A bullet I think ricocheted off my door and hit my hand on the steering wheel.”

The 63-year-old was approaching a red light at 61st and King Drive, when he was shot. Bradley was minutes away from parking his bus and completing his shift, but instead an ambulance carried him to the University of Chicago Hospital where he remained well into the night.

“First the bullet stayed in.  It was still in my hand.  They had to take the bullet out,” he said.

Bradley’s wife clementine is a school bus driver too for the same company, Sunrise. She stayed home from work today to help her husband, who with just one functioning hand is having trouble doing some basic tasks.

“I think it’s just terrible you know, it seems to be getting worse,” she said. “It could have been a busload of kids.”

The kids Bradley shuttled attend school at Kate S Buckingham Special Education Center.

The kids in yesterday’s crowd took off running after the shooting.  No one is under arrest. Police say Bradley was not the target, but Bradley is certain the shooter was targeting the bus.

“I think there are some sick kids out there,” he said.  “They were really young kids who didn’t have nothing else to do.”

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