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Family, friends hold vigil to remember 51-year-old man fatally shot on Metro Transit bus

Eric Chaloux
Updated: February 14, 2020 04:08 PM
Created: February 13, 2020 05:01 PM

It’s been one week since Tommie McCoy was fatally shot a Metro Transit bus while he stood at the door about to get off in downtown Minneapolis.

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Thursday evening, family and friends of the 51-year-old McCoy gathered for a vigil at Transit facility inside Ramp A, in the 100 block of North Ninth Street.

“He was a loving father, grandfather, brother, son, his only sister was me, he was my protector,” said Lavenia McCoy, the victim’s sister. “He was a family man he loved being around his family.”

Malcolm James Lessley, 26, was charged Friday by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office with one count of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder.

Bail for suspect in Metro Transit bus shooting set at $2M

Investigators have not shed a light on a possible motive but did say before the shooting Lessley exchanged words with a different man who was also shot but survived.

McCoy, originally from Chicago, was planning on moving into his own apartment when he was shot on the “C-Line” bus with his red suitcase according to family.

"It's kind of scary, I don't want to ride the C line bus, no more," said Diedre Crawford, Tommie McCoy's fiancé. "Because every time I see the 'C line,' I'm thinking about my Tommie got killed on the 'C line' bus. Got shot in the head. And it just hurts. It hurts a whole lot."

"It hurts so much that this happened to him. he had just left the house," said Crawford. "We've been together 11 years; I don't know what I'm going to do without him now."

"A person already dealing with struggles in life, going through something in life, and then tragically, then life is taken away from them like that,” said KG Wilson, who is a community activist and family friend. “Enough is enough, this is not acceptable not only in our community."

In response to this case and other violence on buses and trains, Metro Transit announced police will work longer days, and plainclothes officers will also ride transit.

New measures announced to increase safety on Metro Transit lines

"If there was an undercover on that bus that day, the person would have still gotten on and did what they did they wouldn't have seen the presence of the police,” said Wilson, who would prefer seeing more uniformed officers on transit. “I think it should be, it makes people think twice about, hey, doing something like this."

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out to Lessley’s lawyer but has yet to hear back.

Other court records show Lessley was civilly committed to the Commissioner of Human Services after being found incompetent to stand trial on a second-degree assault case in Brooklyn Park, and was charged with allegedly pulling a gun on a cab driver last year. The records say he "poses a substantial likelihood of causing physical harm."

DHS said that Lessley had never been treated in one of their facilities, saying most individuals receive treatment in community settings.

Court papers show Lessley was on provisional discharge from a program awaiting a hearing later in February on the civil commitment order.

Lessley is being held on a $2 million dollar bond ahead of March court hearing on the bus shooting case.

“I want to make sure other family members don’t go through the pain and the heartache and sorrow we are going through,” McCoy said.


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