An estimated 1,000 people, including about 700 Metro employees, turned out for the funeral services held Saturday at Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles for MTA bus driver Alan Thomas, who was shot to death on May 17, while driving his route in West Hollywood.
They were joined by transit employees from carriers such as Foothill, Torrance and Gardena, as well as family and friends, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Sheriff Lee Baca and Metro CEO Art Leahy–who began his career with the transit agency as a bus operator.
Most workers and some drivers not able to attend because they were working, also received powder blue and dark blue ribbons of remembrance.
Thomas was later interred at Inglewood Cemetery.
Meanwhile, Anthony Craig Chambers, the man accused of walking onto the bus and shooting Thomas with a shotgun was arraigned in a Beverly Hills Court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty. He will return to court July 23 for a preliminary hearing setting date.
Chambers was initially scheduled to be arraigned on May 22, but the case was continued.
He is charged with one count of murder with the special-circumstance allegations of lying in wait and murder of transportation personnel. The criminal complaint also includes a special allegation of personal use of a firearm.
Victim Alan Thomas was driving on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood when Chambers boarded the bus just after 9 a.m. on May 17. Shortly after boarding, the defendant allegedly drew a shotgun from a suitcase, approached the victim and shot him twice.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Chambers at the scene within minutes of the shooting. The defendant is being held without bail.
A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made by prosecutors at a later date.