Jovan Collazo: Army Trainee Charged in School Bus Hijacking

Richland County Sheriff’s Office

Jovan Collazo

Jovan Collazo is a U.S. Army trainee at Fort Jackson who is facing serious charges after officials said he hijacked a Richland County, South Carolina school bus filled with elementary school students in Columbia.

Richland County officials released video of the incident, which you can watch here or later in this post. His jail records show that he is facing 19 counts of kidnapping, in addition to one count each of armed robbery with a deadly weapon, carjacking without great bodily harm, pointing and presenting firearms at a person, carrying weapons on school property and possession of weapon during a violent crime.

The Army Times reported Collazo was wearing his PT uniform when he left Fort Jackson early in the morning Thursday, May 6, 2021 and boarded a school bus with a rifle. Military officials told the news outlet that the rifle was not loaded. He was arrested later Thursday. No one was injured in the incident.

Here’s what you need to know:

Video Shows the Suspect Getting on the Bus & Pointing a Rifle at the Driver

Officials released video which showed the suspect, later identified as Collazo, getting on the school bus, pointing a rifle at the driver and telling him to close the school bus doors and drive, Richland County officials said during a press conference. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott played the video during a news conference, which shows the suspect wearing an Army T-shirt and holding a rifle.

“Drive!” and “Close the door!” he says repeatedly to the bus driver, pointing a gun at him.

The video shows the bus driver leaning away from the rifle and complying, shutting the doors and driving the bus. A later video clip shows the suspect driving the bus himself, edging out of the doors and getting off the bus after the kids and driver escaped the bus.

“A Fort Jackson trainee dressed in PT clothes and armed with a Fort Jackson rifle hijacked a school bus with children onboard this morning. No children were harmed. Suspect has been detained. Fort Jackson leadership says they are aware and are working w/ law enforcement,” Chase Laudenslager of WCBD News wrote on Twitter.

She later wrote an update after officials released the video and suspect’s name.

“Video released by the sheriff’s office shows the suspect, Jovan Collazo, getting on the bus, pointing a rifle at the driver, and telling the driver to close the doors and drive,” Laudenslager wrote.

Collazo Is Detained at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center

Collazo was arrested and faces a slew of charges in Richland County, according to his jail records at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, the county lockup.

Here is his jail record and list of charges:

jovan collazo jail recordjovan collazo jail record

Alvin S. Glenn Detention CenterJovan Collazo’s jail record and charges.

The most recent update in his case shows that he was in transit from Fort Jackson. His photo was not released on the jail website due to policy changes, officials said. His charges stem from the county, not the military.