Cleveland school bus driver shoots, nearly kills ex-boyfriend

Cleveland school bus driver shoots, nearly kills ex-boyfriend
Laria Thompson was removed from her school bus driving position following the near-lethal shooting. (Source: Cleveland Division of Police)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Cleveland Metropolitan School District bus driver was arrested for nearly killing her ex-boyfriend.

According to police records, Laria Thompson went to the home of ex-boyfriend Antonio Ponyard, 45, in the 2400 block of Cedar Avenue around 1 a.m. on Feb. 25 to retrieve her belongings after their break-up. When Ponyard allowed Thompson inside the apartment, she reportedly pulled out a .380 caliber pistol at "very close range" and shot Ponyard in the stomach and in the shoulder.

Ponyard left the apartment and flagged down police nearby.

Police called for an ambulance and Ponyard was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

After some "de-escalating tactics," Laria Thompson -- who was a Cleveland Metropolitan School District bus driver -- exited the apartment and was taken into custody.

Thompson was taken to a local hospital for a medical evaluation, then was charged and booked into Cleveland jail on a felonious assault charge.

She is expected to be arraigned in Cleveland Municipal Court on March 7. She's being held on a $75,000 bond.

Cleveland Metropolitan School District spokeswoman Dr. Roseann Canfora says that Thompson is "currently not employed by CMSD" as she was "removed from her position pending the resolution of her criminal charges."

Dr. Canfora went on to say Laria Thompson was hired in 2001, laid off in 2004 and rehired in August 2017.

In between CMSD employment, Kent City Schools confirms Thompson was a bus driver for their district from 2012 to 2015.

Thompson was most recently operating bus E348 for CMSD

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles confirms that Thompson has a valid endorsement for Passenger, School Bus, and has a Class B Commercial license holder which expires in 2019.

A background search on Laria M. Thompson revealed two previous arrests by Kent Police. Those criminal cases are no longer visible on court dockets in Portage County.

Cleveland Police also noted in their Feb. 25 arrest report that Ponyard had recently won a court case against Thompson.

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