HARTFORD, Conn. >> A man who slashed two passengers in a box-cutter rampage aboard a casino-bound tour bus was shot to death on Interstate 95 by a Connecticut state trooper, who also accidentally shot one of the injured passengers, authorities said Wednesday.
The mayhem on the Dahlia bus carrying about 24 passengers from Chinatown in New York City to the Mohegan Sun casino in southeastern Connecticut began around 10 p.m. Tuesday, state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said. The bus driver pulled over in a highway construction zone in Norwalk and flagged down a state trooper on duty at the site.
Vance said state police were having trouble identifying the suspect, a man believed to be in his 30s, because he wasn’t carrying identification. The chief medical examiner’s office was to perform an autopsy on the man.
It wasn’t immediately clear what sparked the violence. Investigators brought in a trooper who could help interpret in interviews with the passengers, many of whom are Asian. Police also say the suspect was believed to be Asian.
Several people on the bus called 911, and Trooper Marc O’Mara was aware of the situation before he approached the bus. As O’Mara responded, the suspect and a passenger were fighting and fell out the door onto the road from the stopped bus, authorities said.
O’Mara tried to break up the fight, state police said.
“The suspect advanced toward the trooper in an aggressive manner with the box-cutting instrument, forcing the trooper to discharge his duty weapon striking the suspect and also wounding the bus passenger,” Vance said in a statement.
The suspect later died at Norwalk Hospital. O’Mara wasn’t injured. The 10-year state police veteran was placed on administrative duty, pending the investigation.
The two wounded bus passengers were treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries, police said. During the confrontation, the northbound lanes of I-95 were closed for more than seven hours from late Tuesday to Wednesday morning.
A man who answered the phone at a listing for Dahlia in New York declined to comment Wednesday. A Mohegan Sun spokeswoman also declined to comment.