A trainee fled an Army base in South Carolina and hijacked a school bus full of kids armed with a rifle: police

·2 min read
A school bus sits parked in Columbus, N.M., on Sunday, April 11, 2021.
A school bus sits parked in Columbus, N.M., on Sunday, April 11, 2021. By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • Police say an Army trainee in South Carolina fled his base and hijacked a school bus on Thursday.

  • The school bus was full of kids when the trainee boarded, police said.

  • The trainee has been arrested, and police told WISTV that he will face kidnapping charges.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

An Army trainee fled a training base and hijacked a school bus full of children while armed with a rifle, police in South Carolina said on Thursday.

The trainee had escaped Fort Jackson, the US Army's main Basic Combat Training center, in Columbia, South Carolina.

WIS reporter Adam Mintzer said on Twitter that the trainee left the base in his full physical training uniform at 7 a.m.

Richland County Sheriff Lott told reporters the trainee boarded a school bus with 18 Forest Lake Elementary students aboard.

Lott said the hijacker "told the bus driver he didn't want to hurt him, but he wanted him to drive him to the next town."

The students asked the trainee if he was going to hurt them after he brought them to the front of the bus, Lott said. Eventually, the hijacker pulled over and let the students and driver off unharmed, the sheriff said.

The trainee then drove the bus a few more miles before abandoning it - leaving the rifle inside, Lott told reporters.

At the news conference, Lott praised the bus driver for keeping his cool during the tense situation, according to ABC News.

"His main concern was the safety of those kids and he did his job," Lott said, according to ABC News.

Authorities said that the trainee, who has not been publicly identified, has been arrested and will be charged with multiple counts of kidnapping.

Fort Jackson officials said on Twitter that they were aware of the incident and were working with the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

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