A 21-year-old woman is now facing a murder charge after allegedly shooting and killing a SEPTA bus driver in Germantown on Thursday morning.

Who is Zhontay Capers?

Zhontay Capers was charged with murder and related crimes overnight for the fatal shooting of Bernard N. Gribbin, a 48-year-old Route 23 SEPTA bus driver, according to Interim First Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore.

The tragic incident unfolded just before 10:30 a.m. on Thursday when Capers allegedly shot Gribbin six times near Germantown and Abbotsford Avenues. Despite being rushed to Einstein Medical Center, Gribbin was pronounced dead just minutes later, at 10:36 a.m. Gribbin had served as a SEPTA employee for 12 years, highlighting the devastating loss to the transit authority and his community.

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Early reports suggested that the shooter may have targeted Gribbin following a dispute. However, SEPTA Transit Police Chief Charles Lawson revealed that bus security footage did not appear to show any significant interaction between the shooter and the driver. Lawson noted that the shooting seemed to occur without apparent rhyme or reason. The woman allegedly began firing as she was exiting the bus, reboarding, firing again, and leaving the bus multiple times.

As of now, the motive for the shooting remains unclear, and authorities continue to investigate. Fortunately, no other injuries were reported in the incident.

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This tragic event has taken place amid contentious contract negotiations between SEPTA and Transport Workers Union Local 234, representing bus, trolley, and subway operators within the authority. One of the central issues in these negotiations pertains to TWU Local 234’s demand for increased law enforcement to address a rising number of assaults on its members and enhance protection for both transit workers and the public against crime and antisocial behavior within the transit system.