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Man who shot school bus driver on I-35 pleads guilty

Lilly is facing between three to eight years in prison.

MINNEAPOLIS — The man who shot at a school bus, wounding the driver in February, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault Monday, according to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

Kenneth Lilly, 32 of St. Paul was originally charged of attempted second-degree murder but it was amended by prosecutors to first-degree assault, which he pleaded guilty to. Lilly will be sentenced Oct. 31.

RELATED: Minneapolis school bus driver shot, injured on I-35W

Lilly is facing between three to eight years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, on Feb. 5 at around 2 p.m., school bus driver Thomas Benson was trying to merge onto Interstate 35 W near Chicago Avenue during a snow storm. The bus scrapped Lilly's sedan, but Benson was unaware.

RELATED: Transcripts of bus driver shooting released

Lilly stopped his car, walked towards the bus and attempted to enter. Benson did not open the door for him since a child was on board. Lilly told the court that as he walked to the front of the vehicle, Benson hit him with the bus.

Senior Hennepin County Attorney Dan Allard questioned Lilly about the prior statement and Lilly admitted that the bus was moving so slowly that it was a bump and it did not knock him down. 

Lilly told the court he pulled out his 9 mm handgun, which he carries as a security guard and shot five times into the bus windshield, grazing Benson's head and wounding his left arm.

The child on board was not injured. 

Lilly called 911 and told officers he feared for his life. But with his guilty plea Monday, Lilly dropped his statement of acting in self-defense. 

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