CINCINNATI (FOX19) - On Saturday, Aug. 17, Antonio McClendon was on his regular route when his bus was caught in the crossfire of a shooting on Dana Avenue.
On Monday, he said something told him not to stop at his next scheduled drop-off.
“What I saw was something that I felt deep inside... something was going to go wrong,” Metro bus driver Antonio McClendon said.
Moments later, one of his passengers, 21-year-old Neko Larkin, was shot and killed - caught between gunfire that took place outside the bus.
Cincinnati Metro said McClendon acted immediately. He called for help and drove his bus to UC Medical Center to seek help for his passengers.
“I had put my feelings, my thoughts out of my head and put one thought, which was get to UC where there’s police, safety, and doctors,” said McClendon.
He told FOX19 NOW he wanted to talk because he feels the victims who rode his bus need a “spokesperson."
“They need someone to encourage them not to be afraid to ride the Metro... to let them know I’m there for them," McClendon said.
He also wants Larkin’s family to know he’s there if they need to talk because he said he knows the pain they’re feeling right now.
“Four years ago, my son was killed in a shooting. But his wasn’t crossfire. His was meant for him," McClendon said.
He said his son was the same age as Neko when he died.
“Every situation I’ve been in that had an incident of this magnitude, the people around me were safe," he said.
McClendon said he looks at himself as a protector and that’s why he’s taking this so hard. He said he’s not driving for Metro right now, but plans to soon.
“Trying my best to get back on that horse again... it’s hard, but not too hard. Meaning that I can still do it and I know I have to soon.”
If you have any information about this case, you’re asked to call CrimeStoppers at 513-352-3040.