Gunman who police say took over Greyhound bus, shut down I-85 for hours identified

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police have identified a man who they say pointed a handgun on a Greyhound bus on I-85, prompting officers to shut down the highway for hours.

The incident unfolded near the Indian Trail exit on I-85 northbound around 9:30 a.m. SWAT teams surrounded a Greyhound after reports of a man inside the bus who had a gun. The highway was shut down in both directions. Hours later, police were able to take the man into custody with no one injured.

Gwinnett Police said Jaylin Backman, 23, of Conyers, has been charged with one count of aggravated assault.

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Police said Backman got into an argument with a passenger on the bus Tuesday morning around 9:30 a.m. At some point, the driver noticed a commotion and pulled the bus over. When the driver asked what was going on, police said Backman pointed a gun at him.

Investigators determined that at no point did Backman prevent any of the passengers from leaving the bus and that he did not point a handgun at any of the passengers.

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Passengers told Channel 2 Action News that they jumped out of windows and climbed out of a hatch in the roof to escape. The 30 passengers were all determined to be safe.

“Preservation of life is the top priority at Gwinnett Police,” police said. “We worked with our partners at the Georgia Department of Transportation as well as the Gwinnett Department of Transportation to mitigate the traffic delays, but our ultimate priority was the safety of the community. "

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Police said that even though all the passengers were able to get off the bus, Backman still had a gun and was having a mental health crisis.

“Gwinnett SWAT made entry onto the bus as soon as it was safe to do so to get Backman into custody without anyone being harmed,” police said.