Kindergartners’ questions helped get them off hijacked school bus, driver says: ‘Enough already’

By Hannah Knowles for The Washington Post

The hijacker forced his way onto the school bus with a rifle and commands to “Get out of town, now!” It was “one of the scariest” scenarios possible, law enforcement said later — 18 children and their driver, at the whims of a man with a gun earlier this month.

But the bus driver says the gunman was no match for the queries of kindergartners.

The man moved all the students up front of the bus headed for an elementary school in Columbia, S.C., driver Kenneth Corbin told “Good Morning America” this week. The gunman seemed intent on reaching the next town, at least 15 miles away. Then, the kids — the kindergartners especially — started peppering him with questions, Corbin said.

Was he a soldier? Why was he doing this? Was he going to hurt them? What about their driver?

Six minutes after boarding the buson May 6, authorities said, the hijacker ordered everyone off.

“Seemed like he sensed more questions coming. … I guess something clicked [in] his mind and said ‘Enough, enough already!’ ” Corbin told “GMA,” estimating they made it only a few miles. “He just told me to stop the bus — ‘Stop the bus right here.’ ”

A suspect,23-year-old Fort Jackson recruit Jovan Collazo, was quickly apprehended and charged with kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking and other offenses, authorities said. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott acknowledged the curious children’s possible role in a news conference earlier this month, saying, “They were asking lots of questions” that seemed to frustratethe gunman.

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