Fight over sagging pants prompts Dallas DART station shooting

- A fight between two men over sagging pants on a Dallas Area Rapid Transit train ended with gunfire Friday morning.

The shooting happened around 5 a.m. near the Pearl Street Station at Pearl and Bryan streets in Downtown Dallas.

DART police say 19-year-old Travonte Martin shot a man after an argument. Witnesses say Martin's pants were sagging and the victim told him to pull them up. About 50 other commuters were on board when the shooting started.

"The suspect pulled out a gun, shot him twice, ran off the train and threw away the gun,” explained DART spokesman Morgan Lyons.

Martin was arrested a short time later. DART police found the handgun after an extensive search around the platform.

"There were cameras at the station,” Lyons said. “And that information helped us locate the suspect and move quickly."

Cameras on the platforms and in the light rail cars are a big part of DART's security plan after several violent incidents that have raised concern about rider safety.

About 45 of DART’s train cars have cameras on board. The one where the shooting happened did not. DART plans to have another 115 cameras installed within the next two years.

Councilman Dwaine Caraway credits DART with catching the suspect quickly but says the rail system still needs to make security upgrades.

"We're going to have to make sure DART steps up security and make sure folks know that you don't get on that train carrying weapons,” he said. “And that people have to realize that riding the DART train you can ride it and feel safe and not feel threatened."

DART says there were no officers on the train at the time of the shooting, but it does plan to hire additional security officers and by the first of April. DART’s goal is to have one officer on every light rail in operation.

The victim was shot twice, but he is expected to survive.

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