April 21, 2024

DC Metro employee killed trying to protect woman during rampage laid to rest

The D.C. Metro worker killed trying to protect a woman during a shooting rampage earlier this month was laid to rest Tuesday.

Robert Cunningham, 64, intervened on behalf of a customer at the Potomac Avenue Station on Feb. 1 while trying to stop a gunman.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke spoke at the funeral Mass held at St. Camillus Catholic Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, FOX 5 DC reports.Β 

“Your husband, your father, your colleague, your friend is a hero – and we will always remember Robert as such,” Clarke said.

DC METRO EMPLOYEE KILLED TRYING TO STOP SHOOTER ‘HEROIC,’ SUSPECT IDENTIFIED

Elisa Cunningham, Robert’s wife, was heard for the first time since the shooting at the service. She read a letter she wrote to her husband in Spanish. Her brother read an English translation afterward.Β 

“Goodbye to the love of my life, to the exemplary father of my children, the great hero of the community,” part of the letter read. “Robert, my love, you gave me two beautiful children, (Anthony and Kelly) and you adopted mine, (Daniel and Sofia). You made us a whole and beautiful family. You taught me what love is, and I thank you for 15 years of happiness…”

Cunningham was remembered during the Mass as someone who never went to bed upset. Even if he and his wife had an argument, the priest said Robert would still give her a goodnight kiss.

SUSPECT IN CUSTODY AFTER DC METRO TRANSIT EMPLOYEE SHOT, KILLED; 3 OTHERS INJURED

The funeral procession led by a D.C. police motorcade traveled past the Potomac Avenue Metro station where Cunningham died defending a Metro rider.

The incident involving Cunningham’s death began as an altercation on board a Metrobus near 14th Street and Potomac.Β 

A person with a gun, later identified as 31-year-old Isaiah Trotman of Southeast D.C., was engaging passengers on the bus and followed one of them off before shooting the person in the leg.

Police say the gunman then went down the Potomac Avenue Metro station escalator to the station platform and approached someone who was trying to buy a Metro card. Benedict said the gunman shot that person and attempted to bring them over the fare gate turnstile, but the victim was able to break free.

Trotman then allegedly went farther down the escalator, where he confronted a woman. That is where Metro employee Cunningham attempted to intervene.

“Court documents released last week revealed Cunningham grabbed the suspect from behind in an apparent chokehold as the suspect pointed a gun toward the woman on the platform. Police say the suspect then moved his gun-holding hand toward Cunningham’s head and fired,” FOX 5 DC states.Β 

Trotman then attempted to board a Metro train and was apparently confronted and disarmed by the passengers. He exited the train car and was taken into custody by police officers, who also recovered his weapon on the train tracks, Benedict said.

Trotman was last reported in custody, being charged with first-degree murder while armed, kidnapping while armed, and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Countless memories and photos of Cunningham have been shared in his online obituary.Β 

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