Maniac hijacks Georgia commuter bus with 17 people on board, fatally shoots hostage during wild police chase

A passenger was shot and killed after a gunman hijacked a downtown Atlanta commuter bus with 17 people on board and put a gun to the bus driver’s head, police say.

Atlanta police received three separate 911 calls starting at 4:30 p.m. reporting that a man was holding hostages on a Gwinnett County Transit bus near 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard and that shots had been fired .

Responding officers saw Joseph Grier, 39, put a gun to the bus driver’s head as the suspect forced him to start driving, sparking a wild police chase.

Joseph Grier, 39, put a gun to the bus driver’s head during the tense chase by police Tuesday evening. P.A.

The bus crashed into several cars as it weaved through traffic, including a Gwinnett County patrol cruiser, while Georgia State Patrol cruisers.

Aerial footage showed the bus hurtling down the highway as other panicked drivers tried to get out of the way.

Grier shot a hostage on the bus, police said. P.A.

At one point, all lanes of the highway were closed as officers employed several different tactics to try to stop the bus.

In a desperate attempt to stop the bus, police appeared to attempt a “PIT” maneuver which was unsuccessful, 11alive reported.

The bus was eventually disabled through the use of spike strips, police said.

He stopped about 20 miles away in Tucker, near Hugh Howell Road, between Deer Ridge Drive and Rosser Road.

Passengers could be seen exiting the bus with their hands in the air. First responders immediately began performing CPR on a victim who Greer had shot during the chaos.

The bus departed from downtown Atlanta around 4:30 p.m. WSBTV

The victim, who was not identified, was rushed to a local hospital, where he died, police said.

Greer was taken into custody and charges are pending.

Dennis Durham told WSBTV he was exiting Gusto on Hugh Howell in Tucker when a car in front of him suddenly reversed in an attempt to avoid the bus and struck the front of his vehicle.

“Here’s the bus coming right in front of us and it just ran over a lot of these cars and caused them to crash into each other,” Durham said. “I saw so many police cars in so many different areas that my head was spinning.”

A man told the outlet that his wife was one of the passengers on the bus. Greer appeared to be suffering from a mental illness, she said.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said Greer had 19 prior arrests, including for possession of a handgun.

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