Police are investigating a shootout that happened late Monday afternoon in North Durham where a bus driver had to veer off the road to avoid the gunfire.

No injuries have been reported, but police say a public school bus was in the area during the gunfire, and the bus driver “took evasive action to avoid the shooting,” according to a Durham police press release

The release also noted that the bus was not damaged by the gunfire and was not a target of the shooting.

“Due to the quick action of the bus driver, no students were harmed during this incident,” police reported.

It was shortly after 4:30 p.m. when emergency dispatchers alerted police about a shooting in the 1400 block of East Club Boulevard. 

According to local news station WTVD, Bus No. 132 was transporting students from City of Medicine Academy and Durham School of the Arts.

There were 18 students and two adults on the bus. A backup bus was dispatched to take students home; parents and guardians were also allowed to pick up students, WTVD reported.

Police who arrived spoke to witnesses who said that gunfire was exchanged between two occupied vehicles. The officers “located numerous shell casings at the scene,” according to the release.

Durham city council member and mayor pro tem Mark-Anthony Middleton praised the bus driver, whose name has not yet been made public, for taking actions to avoid what could have been a near-unthinkable tragedy for parents awaiting their children’s arrival home from school.

“The profound gratitude and thanks of our entire city belongs to that Durham Public Schools bus driver for their bravery and quick responsiveness in protecting the lives of some of our youngest and most vulnerable residents,” Middleton said in a text statement to the INDY on Monday evening. “This scourge of gun violence leaves no person or zip code exempt. This is a challenge we all must face as one city.”

Anyone with information in reference to this incident is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

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Follow Durham Staff Writer Thomasi McDonald on Twitter or send an email to tmcdonald@indyweek.com.