1 Dead After Metro Atlanta Transit Bus Hijacked, Taken on 20+ Mile Ride from Downtown to Suburbs

One person is dead from a gunshot wound after a wild chase involving a transit bus from downtown Atlanta into the northern suburbs.

Atlanta police said they responded to the initial report of a dispute on a Gwinnett County Transit bus on Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, WSB reported. But when they approached the scene, the bus took off and entered nearby Interstate 85.

Several passengers were aboard the bus as it rolled northbound on the interstate with Atlanta officers and Georgia State Patrol troopers behind. Seventeen miles later, the bus exited the interstate onto Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Gwinnett County but didn’t stop there, continuing south nearly five more miles before turning onto Hugh Howell Rd. and ultimately coming to a stop in a residential area in DeKalb County.

WSB’s traffic helicopter saw the bus hit several cars as it wove through traffic on its route. Officers made several attempts to stop it with spike strips, and the bus’s tires appeared to be deflating even as the vehicle continued to weave around rush hour traffic.

DeKalb County Police were also on the scene when the bus stopped and passengers began filing off with their hands up. The suspect, a 39-year-old man, was taken into custody, and an adult gunshot victim was found on the bus. He was rushed to a hospital, but died from his injuries, WXIA reported.

According to WANF, the bus’s driver was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center, but WXIA said it was a passenger who died.

Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said that 17 people were aboard the bus, including the driver and the suspect. He identified the suspect as Joseph Greer and said he was a repeat felon with multiple convictions involving guns..

Schierbaum said an initial 911 call said that there was a gunman on the bus and that there had possibly been a discharge of the gun, but that call disconnected before information was complete. Officer headed to the scene, he said, and when they arrived, the gunman forced the bus driver to drive away. Two more 911 calls came in, one from a family member of someone on the bus and another from a passenger, who stayed on the line with dispatchers for the duration of the chaotic ride.

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