Bus driver shot

Booker T. McKenney has been charged with shooting fellow bus driver Beryl Kinsey.

A man has confessed to shooting a fellow bus driver on a school bus Friday morning, according to the North Augusta Department of Public Safety.


Police arrested Booker T. McKenney Jr., 69, hours after the shooting of Beryl Kinsey, 54, Lt. Tim Thornton said in a statement. Mr. McKenney is charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

As of late Friday afternoon, Ms. Kinsey remained hospitalized at Medical College of Georgia Hospital with four gunshot wounds to her arm, stomach and chest, Lt. Thornton said.

Her condition was not available.

She is listed as a no information patient, hospital spokeswoman Danielle Wong Moores said.

Mr. McKenney waited for Ms. Kinsey to board her bus, Police Chief Lee Wetherington said.

After being shot as she sat in her seat in the parking lot behind North Augusta Middle School, she managed to drive about 100 yards off the lot before slumping over the wheel, where another driver found her and called 911 at 6:45 a.m.

Ms. Kinsey hadn't begun her route, so no children were on the bus or near the location when the shooting occurred.

While still at the scene, she named Mr. McKenney, whom she recently had a "close personal relationship" with, as her shooter, Lt. Thornton said.

Mr. McKenney was found at a family member's house in Johnston, S.C., shortly before noon.

The incident startled many parents, including Sandee Wells, who saw the police cars when she dropped off her sixth-grader.

"I'm frightened. They won't tell me about it," she said after driving by the scene and seeing police tape roping off the area.

During a news conference, Chief Wetherington stressed that no children were in danger during the incident and it was not a school shooting.

According to Aiken County school system spokeswoman Tammie Newman, Ms. Kinsey has been employed as a driver since 1992, and Mr. McKenney since 2004.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.