RTA bus driver shooting investigated as hate crime

The Message book from RTA driver shooting
The Message book from RTA driver shooting. (WDTN Photo)
Rick Wagoner's Bible saved him from serious injury in shooting. (Photo/RTA)
Rick Wagoner’s Bible saved him from serious injury in shooting. (Photo/RTA)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton police are investigating the shooting of a RTA bus driver as a possible hate crime.

The department called in the FBI to assist in the investigation.

Chief Richard Biehl held a news conference Wednesday to update the investigation.  He did not say that the incident was a gang related shooting, but said they will investigate it as a hate crime.

The victim, Rick Wagoner, 49, told police he was shot while working to repair his broken down bus early Monday morning along Lakeview Drive in Dayton.

He told investigators that he heard the three suspects talking about having to shoot a ‘polar bear’ if you ‘want to get into the club’.

Biehl reported that four shots were fired over a 1 minute 51 second time span.  Wagoner was hit once in the right thigh.  The other two bullets pierced the book he had in shirt pocket.  The book is a modern day translation of the Bible called The Message.  Wagoner was also stabbed in the arm.

Biehl says they have interviewed Wagoner twice.  He says his story remained consistent through both interviews.  The chief says full analysis of the gun, bullets and DNA must be complete, so this investigation is just beginning.

Wagoner is at home recovering from his injuries.  The RTA described him as an excellent employee.













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