ARMY TRAINEE HIJACKS SCHOOL BUS FULL OF KIDS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

SOUTH CAROLINA

An Army trainee has been arrested and charged with dozens of crimes after authorities say he boarded a South Carolina school bus with a gun Thursday and held the driver and elementary students hostage before letting them off the bus. During a news conference, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said the incident started at around 7 a.m. near Fort Jackson, the U.S. Army’s largest basic training facility, located in Columbia. The trainee, dressed in physical training clothes, “ran off post and escaped” with a rifle from the installation, Lott said. Deputies then started receiving calls about someone standing on a nearby interstate flagging down cars. The trainee, whom Lott identified later Thursday as Jovan Collazo, then went to a nearby bus stop where children were waiting to be taken to Forest Lake Elementary School, Lott said, and boarded the bus himself, armed with the rifle. “He told the bus driver he didn’t want to hurt anybody; he wanted him to drive him to the next town,” Lott said. Video that Lott played during a late Thursday news conference showed Collazo boarding the bus, shouting at the driver to close the door and drive. He was on board with the students and driver for a total of six minutes, the sheriff said. Some of the 18 children on the bus began using cellphones to call parents to let them know what was happening, Lott said. After some of the children asked repeatedly if Collazo planned to hurt them or the driver, the trainee “got a little frustrated” and ordered the bus stopped, allowing the driver and children to get off, Lott said. He then drove the bus several miles before abandoning it, with the rifle inside. Collazo then “went through neighborhoods” nearby, Lott said, looking for clothes, was subsequently spotted by deputies and arrested without incident. A spokeswoman for the Richland Two School District said the bus was transporting elementary school children. As a precaution, security at multiple area schools was increased and no one was allowed to enter or leave the buildings, she said.

Description & Video Courtesy 6abc Philly(https://6abc.com/)

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