"After being shot, he called her a B and told her to open the door," said John Johnson, president of Transit Workers Union Local 234, who visited Rembert Wednesday in the hospital.
Johnson said the assailant "was yelling at her" before the shooting, trying to get into the bus.
"She saw the barrel, he was wearing a hoodie, she saw her life wasn't worth more than he wanted it to be," said Johnson.
Rembert is a 20-year SEPTA veteran who is the single mother of a teenage daughter, Johnson said. He described her as fearful for her life and her daughter's.
Police have made no arrests in the shooting. The bus was among the two-thirds of SEPTA buses not equipped with security cameras. Rembert was on a break at the time of the shooting.
Johnson, SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey, and State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione (D., Phila.) held a news conference at SEPTA headquarters Wednesday to urge passage of a Tartaglione-sponsored bill that would add transit employees to a class of protected workers such as firefighters and police officers and to upgrade assaults against them to aggravated assaults.
"For seven years, I've been trying to get this law changed," said Tartaglione. "Some legislators think we are opening the bill to include too many different things." She said she hoped Tuesday's shooting would persuade lawmakers to act on the legislation, Senate Bill 236.
Casey said there have been more assaults on SEPTA employees this year than ever before and more than twice as many in 2011 as in all of 2010, when there were 20 such attacks.
Casey said bus drivers and trolley operators this year have been slashed, punched, sexually assaulted, and spit upon.
"This mindless and senseless violence has to stop," Casey said.
Contact staff writer Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or email@example.com.