1 Dead Following Bus Hijacking in Atlanta

1 Dead Following Bus Hijacking in Atlanta

(RepublicanView.org) – One person died during an allegedly bus hijacking in Atlanta, Georgia. A gunman reportedly took control of a public bus with 17 passengers on board in downtown Atlanta on the afternoon of May 11 and shot one passenger with his own gun.

The suspect, 39-year-old Joseph Grier, then allegedly held the gun to the driver’s head and ordered him to speed away. Soon after, he was pursued by the police through heavy traffic. The chase crossed two counties and encompassed busy highways and residential neighborhoods. The bus finally stopped after around 40 minutes, and police arrested Grier without further incident.

During the hijacking, a passenger managed to covertly call 911, allowing law enforcement to hear what was happening in real-time. Officers heard Grier tell the driver, “Don’t stop this bus, or else worse will happen.” It was later discovered that Grier was also at the scene of a downtown shooting shortly before the incident and spoke to reporters about what he had seen.

Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office later identified the dead passenger as 58-year-old Ernest Byrd Jr. and ruled his death a homicide.

Prosecutors charged Joseph Grier with several offenses, including murder, kidnapping, first-degree hijacking of a motor vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police told reporters that Grier had a lengthy criminal history, including 19 prior felony convictions. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she could not prosecute the suspect because an employee of the District Attorney’s office was on the bus during the hijacking. She asked Georgia’s prosecuting attorneys council to assign another office to the case.

At a press conference, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said “something needs to be done” about gun violence in the Georgia capital. Noting two violent events in the city that day, Dickens said too many people have ”guns in their hands.” He insisted, however, that high levels of violence are not typical in Atlanta, adding, “This is a day we’ll never forget.”

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