Solider-In-Training Charged With Hijacking School Bus At Gun Point Wanted To “Go Back Home”

RICHLAND CO., S.C. – We’re learning more about the soldier-in-training who hijacked a school bus full of kids with a gun. It happened in Richland County, South Carolina, near Columbia. Now, his army leaders say he didn’t have malicious intentions.

23-year-old Jovan Collazo waived his right to a bond hearing Friday afternoon. He faces 19 counts of kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking, and more after police say the soldier-in-training left Fort Jackson with his army-issued rifle Thursday and forced his way on to a school bus with 18 kids, and the driver, on board.

Richland Co., SC Sheriff Leon Lott says, “Probably one of the scariest calls we can get in law enforcement and as a school district is that a school bus has been hijacked with kids on it with someone with a gun.”

The soldier-in-training jumped the Fort Jackson fence line with his weapon. The army says he wanted to go home, and that his actions were not malicious. Fort Jackson’s Commanding General Brigadier General Milford Beagle Jr., says, “His weapon did not have ammunition. But to those in the community, those on the bus, would not have been aware of that…we assess he was just trying to make an attempt to go back home.”

Colazzo eventually kicked the kids and the driver off the bus. None of them were harmed. He had trouble driving the bus, so he abandoned it with his weapon inside. He was arrested shortly after.

Lott says, “I think God looked down on these kids this morning and wrapped his arms around them and took care of them.”

The school district called an emergency board meeting Friday to talk about security on school buses. Also, a spokesperson for the district says the bus driver did not work Friday, but most of students who were on the bus did return to school.