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One Person Was Killed and a Suspect Was Caught in the Armed Takeover of an Atlanta Bus Full of People


According to officials, a gunman took over a suburban Atlanta bus and led police on a chase on Tuesday, killing one person and arresting a suspect. This was the second of two major crimes that hit the city right after each other.

Chief Darin Schierbaum, the chief of police in Atlanta, said that around 4:30 p.m., a 911 call about an emergency on a bus came in. This was right after three people and a shooter were shot at a food court in a downtown mall.

The shooter “forced the bus driver to drive off,” Schierbaum said when an officer arrived and confronted him.

Officials say that a large BearCat police car disabled and trapped the Gwinnett County Transit bus, which had 17 people on board, including the driver. The bus was being chased by police through three jurisdictions in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties. After that, the people got off.

Near 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. in Atlanta, police got the first report of gunfire and hostages on the bus. The bus finally stopped near 5107 Hugh Howell Road in Stone Mountain, DeKalb County, which is about 20 miles away.

In the 911 call center, a man was pointing a gun at a bus driver and telling him, “Don’t stop this bus or else worse will happen.” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens praised the 911 call center workers and the cops who were there.

“I mean, this looks like something out of a movie,” Dickens said, adding that things could have been worse if the police hadn’t done what they did.

The police did not recognize the dead person until they heard from the person’s family. Police said the person died at a hospital after being found shot as the bus was being cleared.

He said that the details of how the person died were not fully known. Police said that no one else was hurt on the bus.

Joseph Grier, 39, was arrested. He was last seen in Stone Mountain, a city east of Atlanta.

Schierbaum said, “We don’t know yet” why he took over the bus. Apparently Grier has been caught 19 times and has a record of being a criminal.

Police in Atlanta and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are looking into it, they said.

Grier may have had a lawyer who could speak for him, but it wasn’t clear right away.

Police say that someone called 911 during the chase, but the call stopped. A family member of someone on the bus called the police to say that they were getting text messages from that person. Someone else on the bus then called 911, and the line was left open, according to the police.

Scheibaum said that Atlanta police, cops in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties, and the Georgia State Patrol were always getting new information.

“You saw the collective effort and dedication of law enforcement working today to save lives, to rescue hostages, to make sure this ended,” he said.

Yesterday, a shooter shot three people in the food court of the Peachtree Center Mall in downtown Atlanta. He was then shot and hurt by a police officer, according to officials.

Around 2:15 p.m., that killing took place, a little more than two hours before the bus call.

Schierbaum said the suspect, who was 34 years old, pulled out a gun and shot one of the victims after what was called a “brief altercation.” After that, he shot two more people.

Later on Tuesday, the GBI named the suspect as Jeremy Malone. Malone was shot by an Atlanta police officer, but he was treated and then taken into custody, the GBI said. It said that all three of the people who were shot were stable.

Malone may have had a lawyer who could talk for him, but it wasn’t clear right away.

After the bus hostage situation was over on Tuesday night, police and Dickens, the mayor, said that the suspect in that case had been arrested 11 times before. At the time, they didn’t know him.

“When Chief explained to you that one of the individuals had 11 arrests and another one had 19 arrests, you’re talking about people that should not have been on the streets with guns,” he said.

“I think mental health is going to play a role in some of this, but you’re talking about too many guns in the hands of individuals that should not have guns,” he added.

Schierbaum said the bus driver who was threatened with a gun was scared.

Schierbaum said, “He’s been through a very scary thing.” “His commitment to the passengers onboard, I think, will be noted later at the appropriate time, but I think he’s also a hero today, as he was in a very dangerous situation.”

Source: NBC News

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