Boy tries to hijack school bus for attack on government officials, police say

Evans Okoduwa, the bus driver who defused the situation.
Evans Okoduwa, the bus driver who defused the situation.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Northeast Middle School student tried to use a gun to hijack a school bus Monday afternoon, police said.

The boy handed over a gun after he tried to get the driver to take him to Washington, DC, to shoot government officials, police said.

"Officers learned that a student approached the bus driver at the student's bus stop displaying a handgun and demanded the driver to drive him to another destination," according to a statement released by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

The incident on bus No. 1431 came to a close at the bus stop at Reedy Creek Road and Harrisburg Road.

The CMPD confirmed the guns -- another one was found later -- were real and both of them were loaded.

Related article: Student brings gun to Charlotte middle school, officials say

The boy is in 7th grade and witnesses say he wanted to go to Washington to shoot government officials. Police have not released the motive.

The driver of the bus, 32-year-old Evens Eman Okoduwa, was able to talk the student into surrendering both of the handguns which were described in the police report as a Norinco 1911A1 and Raven P-25.

Okoduwa then dropped the boy off before taking the other seven students, ranging in age from 11 to 14, to a safe location to notify police.

Students on the bus say they were not alarmed at first.

"We saw a little gun," CMS student Madeline Hawk said. "We thought it was fake."

Police say the boy was waving the handguns in the air and told the driver to travel in a certain direction. Cops say the boy was holding everyone on the bus hostage.

"I was a little worried," Hawk said.

CMS credits the bus driver as keeping the students safe. He convinced the student with the guns to surrender the weapons and the driver then got the 7th grader off the bus.

"The driver was to be commended to get the children off the bus, so the others were safe and commandeered the weapons," said CMS Area Superintendent Joel Ritchie.

Concerned parents were allowed to come to the intersection of Reedy Creek Road and Harrisburg Road to pick up their children after police interviewed the children about the incident.

They were upset because CMS didn't reach out to them sooner.

"Not one of us gotten a phone call about this incident," CMS parent Jimmy Hawk said.  "I don't need to find out about it on the news."

The school district says since the incident happened after school and fast, there was little time to communicate with parents.

"We always review a situation like this to see if we can learn from it," Ritchie said.

Police are investigating the situation to see who the guns belong to, and what was the student's motive might be.

Police say the 7th grader will be charged with eight counts of kidnapping, and two counts of possession of a weapon on school grounds.

CMS says extra security and staff will be at Northeast Middle School Tuesday morning.

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