As he rode the bus late one afternoon, Lefenus Pickett suddenly realised he could not stand by any longer.
A mother was spanking her child for running in the aisles so the 37-year-old intervened and told her: ‘That’s child abuse’.
Soon he would regret trying to be the Good Samaritan.
The woman, Penny Chapman, 20, is said to have made a call on her cell phone and minutes later two thugs began firing at the bus with an assault rifle and a handgun.
In terrifying CCTV video from inside the vehicle, passengers dive for cover and run for the front before the driver hit the gas and sped off.
Chapman was arrested and is now facing trial along with three men prosecutors say helped her during the terrifying incident in Philadelphia.
He watched her young son run up and down the aisles then she spanked him. ‘I told her, that’s child abuse, that’s a little boy,’ Mr Pickett said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The CCTV footage then shows Chapman making a phone call.
When the bus stopped she got off the back doors and allegedly pointed out Mr Pickett and told a friend who had got on and said: ‘I want you to shoot that (racial slur)’.
As they flee two other men standing on the sidewalk wearing white T-shirts then open fire–causing panic on the bus.
‘At first I froze for a minute as I stood up,’ Mr Pickett told the court, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
‘But when I saw them actually shooting, I was just trying to move toward the front of the bus’.
In the panic a mother grabbed her child and an 80-year-old woman dropped to the floor just moments before a bullet shattered the glass over her head.
The passengers all rushed for the front as driver Desmond Jones, an Army veteran, sped off and went straight to hospital.
The gunmen fired a total of 13 bullets and of those five went through the back door and several went through the side–but incredibly nobody was injured.
At the court hearing Mr Pickett recounted what happened to the judge as the CCTV was played on a big screen.
Prosecutors said that after the incident, which happened last month, came to light a police officer who patrols the neighbourhood was able to identify all the suspects and confirm they knew each other.
Judge James DeLeon ordered the four defendants to stand trial but dismissed charges against two others.
He said Lawrence Rahyle, 18, and Keith Bellamy, 23 did appear in the bus CCTV but were just spectators.