Hammer attack on AC Transit bus driver in Oakland caught on video

An attack on an AC Transit bus driver in Oakland over the weekend was caught on video.

Bus surveillance video obtained by KTVU showed the driver, who was wearing a white shirt and black jacket, speaking with a colleague. Then, seconds later, a woman runs across the street and strikes the driver over the head with a hammer.

The driver can be seen tackling the woman to the ground and trying to defend himself by striking her several times.

Alameda County Sheriff's Office Lt. Ray Kelly said, "It appears on its face to be a very violent, random attack."

The attack didn't stop there, even as other bus operators arrived near the Coliseum BART station, along San Leandro Street in East Oakland.

A bus operator phoned the incident in, using the bus' emergency call system and is heard saying, "We need the sheriff at the Coliseum, please. A passenger just hit a driver. He’s restraining her."

Minutes later the driver gets up. Investigators said that's when the suspect pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and pointed it at the driver.

"She then pulled out a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol," Kelly said. "She racked the pistol and pulled the trigger as she told the bus driver she was going to kill him."

But the gun never fired. Deputies said it was because of either user error or a weapon malfunction.

Deputies arrested 45-year-old Sharee Hall. She was charged with a slew of felony firearm assault charges.

A loaded .22 caliber pistol, hammer, pepper spray, and pocket knife were recovered.

AC Transit bus driver Samantha Maddox said, "It’s scary. It makes you think twice of how you deal with people."

The incident is not the first time Hall has been accused of assaulting bus drivers or passengers. 

Records show Hall was charged related to pushing a passenger off a bus and causing injuries. Then in a separate case in 2019, she was convicted in connection to pepper-spraying someone in the face and pulling out a knife.

Sources told KTVU that Hall has repeatedly targeted the bus driver in the most recent incident and in August phsyically attacked him. 

They said in September, Hall threatened to kill the driver.

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Court records also show that she had several felony convictions, which means that she should not have had any weapons.

The motive for the incident is not yet known, but mental health issues are suspected.

The sheriff's office is working to obtain a restraining order to ban Hall from AC Transit buses.

"We feel she should not be allowed to be anywhere near a bus, the bus stop, be allowed to get onto a bus," Kelly said. "She poses an immediate risk and danger to the public."

Hall remains at Santa Rita Jail.

The bus driver, who was attacked, was able to walk away but his identity has not been released.

The transit agency said it will pursue prosecution for any crimes against its employees.

Brooks Jarosz is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email him at brooks.jarosz@fox.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BrooksKTVU