Woman who disarmed alleged Metro shooter recalls tense moments on train

The woman who disarmed a man with a gun at the Potomac Avenue station in D.C. last week is the first to say her heroic act was out of character.

“I would never think that was something I would ever do. Really, honestly, I’m not that type of person,” Shante Trumpet told WTOP.

D.C. police arrested Isaiah Trotman, 31, shortly after they say he shot a man getting off a Metro bus at the Potomac Avenue station, shot another man inside the station, and killed Metro mechanic Robert Cunningham, who tried to intervene while Trotman was allegedly threatening another passenger on the platform.

After killing the 64-year-old Metro employee, Trotman forced one of his victims onto a Silver Line train with him, threatening the passengers on board with his gun and telling them they couldn’t leave, according to documents.

Trumpet, a mother of two who lives in Maryland, recalled how it felt when her normal commute to work at the D.C. Department of Healthcare Finance turned into a life-and-death situation, as her train approached the Potomac Avenue stop.

Pulling into the station, Trumpet said she immediately noticed a body lying on the platform — where Cunningham had just been shot down — then she saw the man with a gun.

“So I’m like, ‘Please don’t open the doors.’ And I wasn’t sure if I said it in my head or out loud,” she said. “But right when I said that, the doors opened.”

Trotman boarded her Silver Line car and sat down right in front of her, placing his gun on the seat next to him, according to Trumpet’s recollection and charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court.

“The first instinct is to run,” Trumpet said. “But I knew as long as he had that gun, that was not happening. So when I saw that … he didn’t have a tight grip on the gun — that was, I just went for it.”

She grabbed the gun and began to run toward the Metro train door. Trotman tackled her, but Trumpet said she felt other passengers pulling him off her back. That gave her the space to get away. She ran out to the platform with the gun and was able to “chuck it onto the tracks” on the other side of the platform.

“So I tried to throw it over, like behind the train. But I’m not even sure if a train was there or not. But I just tried to get it as far away from him as possible,” she said.

Trotman is now charged with felony murder while armed in Cunningham’s killing, as well as kidnapping and assault.

For Trumpet, she said she isn’t quite sure what to make of  the word “hero” to describe her actions.

“It’s a very, very heavy word,” she said. “It’s a very heavy word to realize that lives — a lot of lives — were affected by this. My condolences are with Mr. Cunningham, because he is the first hero — he did intervene and try to stop him.”

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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