An off-duty University of Pennsylvania security guard who said he acted in self-defense when he shot three teenagers on a SEPTA bus last month was caught on a surveillance camera starting the fight and has been charged with assault, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Brandon Ferguson, 24, of Northeast Philadelphia, was arrested Tuesday morning in the 2800 block of Levick Street in Mayfair. In the April 16 shooting of the teens and the injuring of a female passenger, he was charged with four counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person.

A SEPTA bus drove past the blood-stained sidewalk on Bustleton Avenue near St. Vincent Street where three teens had emerged from another SEPTA bus after they were shot on April 16.
Avi Steinhardt
A SEPTA bus drove past the blood-stained sidewalk on Bustleton Avenue near St. Vincent Street where three teens had emerged from another SEPTA bus after they were shot on April 16.

The charges stem from an early morning fight on the Route 58 bus that was captured on video as the bus traveled through the Castor section of the city about 1 a.m.

Ferguson gave a statement to the District Attorney’s Office saying he used his licensed gun to shoot the three boys in self-defense when they attacked him. A 16-year-old was shot in his left thigh, a 15-year-old was shot in the right thigh and right buttocks, and a 17-year-old was shot in his right knee. All are recovering.

A woman who was on the bus suffered a graze wound, said Jane Roh, spokesperson for the office.

Ferguson, who has a permit to carry his gun, was sitting in the back of the bus when the three teens approached him and an argument ensued, a Police Department spokesman said after the shootings.

At the request of the District Attorney’s Office, Ferguson was released on $250,000 unsecured bail under the condition that he turn over to police his firearms, which included an AR-15 rifle and two handguns, and ammunition, Roh said.

After the shooting, Ferguson was put on leave by his employer, Allied Universal Security Solutions. A spokesperson referred a call for comment about his employment status to the University of Pennsylvania, where he was last assigned. A call to the university was not returned.