DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in downtown Dallas are investigating an early Friday morning shooting aboard a Dallas Area Rapid Transit train. It happened around 5:00 a.m. shortly before the train reached Pearl Station, which authorities briefly shut down in order to investigate the case.
DART officials say the incident started with two men got into an argument while riding on the Orange Line. That argument then escalated into a fist fight before one of the men pulled a gun and opened fire. The victim was hit at least four times.
After waiting for the train to reach the station, the suspect ran away from the scene on foot.
The victim was transported to a nearby hospital. His name and condition are not known at this time. Meanwhile, police have taken suspect Travonte Martin into custody. He has been booked into jail on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges.
Rail service has since resumed through downtown Dallas, according to DART officials, but some slight delays are expected.
DART has been working on a plan to combat an uptick in violent crime. They are working to add security cameras throughout the rail system and add security officers to every train. The agency’s board of directors in December approved spending nearly $2 million on hiring 30 additional security guards.
“I see it all the time. I see people smoking weed, talking loud, being disrespectful,” says DART rider Dwight Johnson. “Even during the daytime we’re not even safe. We feel uncomfortable riding DART.”
A rise in violent crime has plagued the commuter rail, including a 60 percent spike in aggravated assaults over the last two years. In December, DART’s Board of Directors approved spending nearly $2 million to hire 30 additional security guards, which should begin in the next two months.
“Our goal is to have a uniformed presence, whether it’s police officer, security guard or fare enforcement officer, on every train,” says DART Spokesperson Morgan Lyons. “In the interim, we have increased our deployment, particularly in the downtown stations so our officers are more visible.”
Cameras will also be added to every train in the next year, in addition to the cameras at every station. Lyons calls Friday’s shooting both disturbing and rare.
“It’s a continuing process, even after you’ve done all of those things,” he sys.
DART will begin adding those cameras to the first round of trains – about a third of them – in the next two months.