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1 dead after bus hijacked at gunpoint in downtown Atlanta; suspect in custody – WGAU

1 dead after bus hijacked at gunpoint in downtown Atlanta;  suspect in custody – WGAU
1 dead after bus hijacked at gunpoint in downtown Atlanta;  suspect in custody – WGAU

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — One person was killed after a man carjacked a bus in downtown Atlanta and led police on a chase through two suburban counties, authorities said.

Joseph Grier, 29, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, is accused of hijacking the Gwinnett County transit bus around 4:30 p.m. EDT with 17 people, including the driver, on board, WSB-TV reported. Police said Grier pointed a gun at the bus driver’s head.

According to Atlanta police, officers responded after receiving at least three 911 calls regarding a “possible hostage situation” on the bus located at 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, the television station reported.

“It was this information that our call takers and dispatchers were hearing that was relayed initially to the Atlanta Police Department, then to the Georgia State Patrol, and then to our partners in Gwinnett and DeKalb County to put an end to to this hostage situation,’” Atlanta Police Department Chief Darin Scheirbaum said at a news conference.

The bus traveled along Interstate 85 from downtown Atlanta northeast to Gwinnett County, where it exited onto Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross, WSB reported.

The vehicle then headed south along Hugh Howell Road before stopping just east of Tucker, according to the TV station.

According to DeKalb County police, passengers began to get off the bus once it stopped. Officers entering the vehicle discovered a person who had been shot, WSB reported.

The victim was transported to an area hospital where he died, Atlanta police said at the news conference. The victim’s name has not yet been released, pending notification of next of kin.

Scheirbaum said Greer had been arrested 19 times before Tuesday and was a convicted felon, according to the television station.

The bus hijacking and subsequent shooting marked the second incident in the Atlanta area Tuesday.

Earlier, four people were injured in a shooting at a downtown Atlanta food court, according to WSB-TV.

Schierbaum said Grier boarded the bus near the food court but was not involved in that shooting.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens condemned gun violence in the city, saying it was the “result of too many people having guns in their hands.”

“We all have to say enough is enough when it comes to too many people having guns in their hands and using them for violent purposes,” Dickens told reporters. “I am grateful to the men and women of the Atlanta Police Department and all of these agencies here who minimized what could have been even more dangerous.”