Suspected Gwinnett Greyhound gunman ID’d, charged with aggravated assault

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

A man accused of barricading himself inside a Greyhound bus on I-85 in Gwinnett County, leading to a SWAT standoff that blocked traffic for hours, has been charged with one count of aggravated assault, police said.

Officials believe 23-year-old Jaylin Backman of Conyers was having a mental health crisis when he pulled out a handgun on the New York-bound bus Tuesday morning, Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Ryan Winderweedle said in a news release. Though Backman allegedly pointed the gun at the bus driver, Winderweedle said he never pointed the weapon at any other passengers and did not prevent them from getting off the bus.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

According to police, the incident began when Backman got involved in an argument with another passenger. The fight escalated to the point that the driver noticed “the commotion” and pulled the bus over on the I-85 on-ramp from Indian Trail Lilburn Road. After Backman brandished his gun, police said, the driver and the nearly 40 passengers were able to get off the vehicle and call 911.

Once police arrived around 9:30 a.m., the hours-long standoff began. Traffic was stopped on I-85 in both directions well into the afternoon, creating serious delays in the area.

ExploreSWAT standoff on I-85 with armed man in Greyhound bus ends with no injuries

“Preservation of life is the top priority at Gwinnett police,” Winderweedle said in Wednesday’s news release. “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.”

Around 2 p.m., the SWAT team entered the bus and took Backman into custody. No one was injured during the incident, though Backman was checked out by medical personnel at the scene and received assistance from mental health professionals once transported to the Gwinnett County Jail.

“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,” Winderweedle said.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

County officials supplied a bus, food and water for the Greyhound passengers stranded during the standoff. A second Greyhound bus arrived later to pick up the passengers to complete their route.

Backman was booked into jail around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday and remains there with no bond.