School Bus Driver Shot Dead After Refusing to Hand 5-Year-Old Passenger to a Gun Carrying Madman

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school bus shootingA school bus driver in Alabama was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon after a man with a gun boarded the bus and demanded a 5- and 8-year-old child. When the driver refused, the man shot and killed him. The man escaped with one child who reportedly passed out on the scene. As of Wednesday morning, the hostage situation had yet to be resolved and the man was holding the child in some kind of underground bunker.

There are no words for how terrifying and tragic this is. And all I can think is not again. Please not again.

After the tragedy in Newtown where 20 beautiful 6- and 7-year-olds were senselessly murdered, almost nothing fills parent with more fear than another school shooting and another young child in mortal peril. But even in the midst of these horrific stories that fill us with fear and sadness, there is a glimmer of hope.

That bus driver gave his life protecting those kids. He was willing to say no to a man with a gun in order to protect his young charges. Despite the horror we should all feel at these kinds of stories, there is a bit of comfort in that. The people we trust with our most precious possessions would give their lives for them. 

More from The Stir: Family of 5-Year-Old Boy Being Held Hostage by School Bus Gunman Is 'Holding On by a Thread'

That's amazing.

In the days after Newtown, across the country, when parents were dropping their children at school in a daze of fear and sadness, I kept fighting the urge to hug my children's teachers. Never had I felt more scared to leave my kids and yet felt more love and confidence for and in the people I left them with.

Teachers, bus drivers, lunch aides, principals, and all educators have always had my heart, but never more so in the days after Newtown. And now this just confirms it. My heart goes out to the family of this bus driver whose name has yet to be released, but maybe they can take comfort in his courage, too.

We need to deal with gun violence in this country. We get that message loud and clear. No doubt. But we also need to get up in the morning, go to work, and send our kids to school on a daily basis. If we live in fear and sadness, we can't function.

The only thing that allows me to still send my kids to school is the heroism these educators show in the face of unimaginable fear. If they can do it, so can I. And I can trust them to do their best to protect my children. That's what allows me to continue our daily routine.

Let's all hope this situation is resolved quickly and this poor child is returned to his family where they can help him heal from the trauma.

Do you feel safe sending your child to school?


Image via dave_7/Flickr



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mande... manderspanders

Just think, if the bus driver woulda had a conceal and carry handgun, he'd probably still be alive and there wouldn't be any hostage situation.


nonmember avatar blue

Right, because no one dies with a gin. Oh, and we REALLY want a shootout on a bus. Common sense, people.

LostS... LostSoul88

Hima nd his family will me in my thoughts. What a brave man, he is a hero. I just hope they get the child out safely. 

Mrscj... Mrscjones

Or kids could have been shot in the midst of two people having a gun fight. Seriously thats what you took from this story @manderspanders

nonmember avatar blue

Right, because no one with a gun has ever died. Oh, and me REALLY want there to be a shootout on a bus. Common sense people.

PonyC... PonyChaser

"That bus driver gave his life protecting those kids." As a society, we should be absolutely ashamed to read those words. Over the years, we have reacted with emotion-filled knee-jerk responses violent situations by sticking our heads in the sand and tying the hands of the victims. A bully harrasses a kid on the playground. The kid finally has enough and punches the bully in the nose. The kid gets suspended for "fighting". Parents are shamed for using 'tough love' techniques on their children. Teachers are banned from disciplining in the classroom, and when they dare to buck the system, parents sue for damaging Little Johnny's precious fragile self-esteem.

We tell victims of crime to cower in a bathtub and call police that might be 15, 30, or more minutes away, and pray to God that the dirtbag who has broken into their house doesn't rape or kill them.

PonyC... PonyChaser



We put teachers and bus drivers on the front lines of a war against our children and refuse to arm them with anything except a cellphone and a prayer. And they can't even pray because they're in school.

We are systematically creating a society of violence. The criminals know that they have won.

We are in a war. And our "leaders" are siding with the enemy.

Manders is absolutely correct: if that bus driver had been allowed to carry, he and those children would have had the option for a fighting chance. Not saying that the outcome would have been different, because the driver may have chosen not to carry. But as it stands, those people never had a prayer.


work4... work4mickey

a shootout would've been better than a dead bus driver and a missing child. Besides, what are the odds that the kind of coward who tries to use a gun to steal kids from a bus would stay and fight once he saw he was equally matched. Odds are he would have fled.

LostS... LostSoul88

a shootout would have been better? Are you an idiot?????? A shootout coukd mean multiple children dying!!!! Get a freaking brains! I wouldnt want to be around you with a gun. 

PonyC... PonyChaser

Or a "shootout" could have meant that a man who had trained with a weapon took aim and fired enough times to stop the dirtbag who was threatening his life and the lives of those children. It could have meant that the only person dead in this scenario was the one who was committing the crime in the first place.

Those of you who are saying that allowing the bus driver to choose to carry and defend himself and the kids... what is your solution? What's a better idea? Because we've already seen that more gun control laws will not stop the criminals who don't give a rip about the laws.

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