Shocking Details Released About Bus Hijacking Murder Suspect

( – The Atlanta metro area was shaken by a dramatic high-speed chase on Tuesday, June 11. A man driving a hijacked Gwinnett County Transit bus led police on a wild pursuit for miles. Shocking details have now been released about the chase.

Police responded to reports about a shooting in an Atlanta food court at the Peachtree Center Mall on the day of the chase. Joseph Grier, 39, spoke to reporters outside of the crime scene and said he was hiding when the shooting took place. He claimed he saw the shooter and revealed he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

“I’m bipolar, I’m gonna tell you all that, and I’m off my medication for like two weeks,” Grier said.

There was no connection between the mall shooting and Grier, according to police. Jeremy Malone, 34, is accused of shooting three people at the mall.

A few hours after the interview, police claimed Grier hijacked the transit bus. He allegedly got into a fight with a passenger, 58-year-old Ernest Byrd Jr., who pulled a gun. Grier took the gun and shot the man, before pointing the weapon at the driver and ordering him to hit the gas. The passengers on the bus freaked out as the bus took off. The hijacker led police on a chase through three Georgia counties.

The bus finally stopped, and police arrested Grier. He was booked into the Fulton County Jail on over two dozen charges, including Byrd’s murder and first-degree hijacking of a motor vehicle. Seventeen people were on the bus when it was hijacked.

Subsequent reporting has uncovered the suspect’s extensive criminal record. He has at least 19 prior arrests and a history of mental illness. Grier’s father’s partner told Fox 5 Atlanta that she has known the suspect for 16 years, and he struggled with mental health issues the whole time. In addition to bipolar disorder, he was also diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The woman said Grier stopped taking his medication when he lost his job recently. The suspect waived his first court appearance.

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