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1 fatally shot on Atlanta area transit bus that led officers on a wild chase, police say

A Gwinnett County, Ga. commuter bus sits in the road where it was stopped in Smoke Rise, Ga., on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. Atlanta police say the transit bus fled from officers responding to a dispute on board, leading them on a wild and lengthty chase into a neighboring county before it was stopped. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police said one person has died after being shot on a commuter bus Tuesday afternoon that led officers on a chase for miles from the city into neighboring suburbs, with television news footage showing it barrelling through rush hour traffic and striking several vehicles.

News helicopters followed the dramatic pursuit of the Gwinnett County Transit bus, which police said took off after officers responded to a report of gunfire on a bus and a possible hostage situation just after 4:30 p.m. near downtown Atlanta.

Atlanta police said the bus was eventually stopped miles (kilometers) away in neighboring DeKalb County and that a 39-year-old male suspect was handcuffed and taken into custody. As they cleared the bus, officers found an adult victim with a gunshot wound. Authorities said that person was taken to a hospital where they died from their injury.

There were several other passengers on the bus, but no further injuries were reported, police said. The identity of the man in custody was not immediately released.

John Gilbert of suburban Dacula said his wife, Paulette, takes the bus to and from downtown Atlanta for work three days a week. He said she called him from the bus and said one man had shot another man. Gilbert told his wife to get off the phone because he didn't want the man to think she was calling police and shoot her.

Then he waited for 40 or 45 minutes without knowing what was going on before his wife finally called him once she was off the bus.

“I felt like I had a hole in me,” Gilbert said through tears. “I'm just glad she's alright.”

Television news footage showed the bus striking multiple vehicles and crossing onto the wrong side of a road with police in pursuit. At one point, a police vehicle appears to get in front of the bus, but it kept going.

The Associated Press

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