Ft. Jackson trainee in custody after hijacking SC college bus full of youngsters

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – The Richland County Sheriff held a press conference Thursday morning after a Fort Jackson apprentice left base and hijacked a school bus.

Sheriff Leon Lott said the incident happened around 7 a.m.

Lott said the trainee was wearing PT clothing when he left base with a rifle. The trainee tried to couple the walk on I-77.

Someone called the sheriff’s office because someone tried to stop cars on the freeway. Shortly thereafter, a MP on Percival Road was stopped on the school bus by a parent of one of the students. The parents told the deputy that their child was on the bus and a man with a gun was on the bus, Lott said.

Lott said after the trainee was not picked up on the freeway, he noticed that some students were waiting at a bus stop on Percival Road to go to Forest Lake Elementary.

After all the children got on the bus, the trainee got on the bus with his rifle and told the driver that he did not want to hurt him. He also told the driver to take him to the next town, Lott said.

The driver started driving and the trainee got all of the students to the front of the bus, Lott said. The students asked the trainee several questions.

The trainee was frustrated and let the driver and 18 students get off the bus.

The trainee rode the bus a few miles before getting off the bus. Lott said he left the rifle on the bus.

Lott said the trainee walked through a neighborhood trying to ride along and find new clothes.

MPs spotted the trainee near Percival Road and I-77. He was arrested without incident.

The sheriff’s office said he was being charged on several kidnapping cases as well as several other charges.

“You can imagine that they were scared to death,” said Lott. “I’ll give the bus driver a loan. He stayed cool. He didn’t overreact. … His main concern was these children and he did his job. “

No injuries were reported.

“I’ve been on the board for over 10 years now and have never received a call that scared me as much as the call I received this morning. That a bus carrying our students and staff was hijacked, ”said James Manning, chairman of the Richland School District Two school council. “We are very happy that you are safe.”

Superintendent Dr. Baron Davis said that counseling services were provided to students upon arrival at elementary school.

We will update this story as information becomes available.

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