Atlanta Bus Driver in Hijacking Says ‘I Was Ready to Die’ for Passengers as Shooter Held Gun to His Head

Ernst Antoine only had the job for three months prior to the dangerous incident

<p>Good Morning America/X</p> Ernst Antoine on

Good Morning America/X

Ernst Antoine on 'GMA'

The driver of the hijacked bus in Atlanta is speaking out.

On Thursday, June 13, driver Ernst Antoine appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to talk about the incident that took place on June 11th, when a convicted felon allegedly hijacked his bus and forced him to drive away from the police.

Antoine, who only had the job for three months, said, “I don’t know exactly what other people will do in my place. But for me, I was right because people always coming first. I was ready to die for them.”

The driver continued to describe the situation with the hijacker, saying, “He turned the gun on me and I made to go.” He recalled thinking, “Don’t stop in the world. If I stop, he's going to kill me.”

Another passenger told ABC News that said when the police managed to stop the bus, the suspect "threw his gun and tried to disguise himself as one of the victims."

Then, "when I get out, the police point the gun on me. I said, 'No, I’m not the killer. I’m the driver.' And they asked me, 'Who is the killer?' I say, 'Him,' " Antoine recounted.

Related: 1 Dead After Shooting During Atlanta Bus Hijacking

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On Tuesday, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum stated in a press conference that the officers received a 911 call from a family member of an occupant of the bus claiming it'd been hijacked before another emergency call was made from the bus.

In a press release issued by the Atlanta Police Department, when officers' first arrived at the scene, "the bus fled the location, and a pursuit ensued." They added that police used "various tactics to stop the bus" before it "ultimately came to a stop near 5107 Hugh Howell Rd. in Stone Mountain."

After clearing the bus — which had 17 individuals on it including the driver — officers found an adult victim with what they believed to be a gunshot wound. "The victim was transported to the hospital by ambulance in critical condition, where they succumbed to their injury," the Atlanta PD said.

Schierbaum confirmed that the suspect taken into custody, Joseph Grier, 39, was a convicted felon with 19 prior arrests.

The police chief also noted that the bus driver was shaken up, adding that it seemed like he was a "hero" in a "very dangerous situation."

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