Despite shooting victim's death, Metro driver who shuttled him to ER 'is a hero'

Posted at 7:05 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 19:05:36-04

CINCINNATI — When a stray bullet punched through his bus window Saturday night and struck a passenger, Metro driver Antonio McClendon thought fast. He drove directly to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center's Emergency Room, hoping to save 21-year-old Neko Larkin's life.

The attempt was unsuccessful — Larkin died on the way, according to police.

Still, "the bus operator is a hero," Better Bus Coalition president Cam Hardy said Monday. "What he did that day was amazing."

McClendon had not returned to work by Monday, according to Hardy, who added he was deeply disturbed by the incident.

"All of the bus drivers are shaken up over this," Hardy said. "It's about safety."

Cincinnati police said the bus was not the intended target of the shooting. The bullet that hit Larkin had been part of a separate gunfight nearby.

Hardy said he doesn't want bus drivers, especially McClendon, to feel guilty when situations like this happen.

"He needs to understand that he did everything he could," Hardy said. "He did more than what he could. I have never heard of a bus operator rushing someone to the hospital as a result of gunfire."