School Bus Driver Questioned After Reports of Gun on Bus - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/18/04

School Bus Driver Questioned After Reports of Gun on Bus

Bus 993 was searched by police, who found no weapon. Bus 993 was searched by police, who found no weapon.

Campus police weren't taking any chances after students aboard a Chatham County school bus said their driver had a gun. Police caught up with the bus around 7:30am on its morning route at Nottingham Drive and Little John Court off of Eisenhower Drive.

They did not find a gun on bus number 993, but say they're still investigating the allegations.

"This morning I received a phone call from campus police saying that there was some sort of incident that occurred on this particular bus between the driver and the students," said Rufus Smith with the bus company, Laidlaw.

According to campus police, students from Jenkins High School told their principal their bus driver had a gun. They had just got off the bus and the driver was already picking up his second load of students.

"Because of the nature of the allegations we immediately, in cooperation with campus police, proceeded on to the first school bus stop that that bus would have arrived at," said Smith. "Started picking up elementary students from Thunderbolt."

Police searched the bus inside and out from top to bottom. They didn't find any weapon on board. They questioned the driver at the scene and the department. This afternoon, they released him, but their investigation continues.

"If this is a founded allegation, the driver will be terminated," said Smith, noting Laidlaw does not tolerate such behavior from any employee.

Earlier we had heard that the bus driver had threatened students on the bus, but campus police say that is not true, they have received no reports of the driver threatening students.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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