WATCH: Atlanta police release footage of Gwinnett transit bus hijacking

Before a hijacked transit bus filled with passengers was finally brought to a halt after a chaotic route in June, countless law enforcement officers trailed behind it, attempting to stop it as it made its way from Atlanta to Gwinnett County.

The Atlanta Police Department released body camera footage Wednesday of their efforts to thwart the Gwinnett transit bus by deploying a tire deflation device used to stop pursuits. When the bus came to a stop June 11 in front of a SWAT team’s armored vehicle, it was moving rather slowly due to some tires having been deflated and lost.

Footage released showed a police officer driving down a busy I-85 near the bus, stopping his patrol car on the side of the interstate, running through heavy traffic and then laying down the stick device. Several tires on the right side of the bus drove over the stick, the video revealed.

Auto Crimes Enforcement Unit officers Ricky Ferrao and Willie Adams told Channel 2 Action News that they train for situations like these, but had never seen one play out in the city. The two said they considered the speed of the bus, traffic and the safety of the passengers and the other drivers as they used the “stop sticks.”

“As soon as the stop sticks made contact with the tires, you could hear the tires hissing, which meant I got a good deployment,” Ferrao told the news station.

Listen to an interview with bus hijacking suspect Joseph Grier as he spoke to the AJC following the Peachtree Center shooting, where he was a witness.

The bus chase began near 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, about two hours after a shooting inside The Hub, a food court in an office building at 235 Peachtree Street. The suspect, 39-year-old Joseph Grier, witnessed the shooting and even spoke to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter at the scene.

Grier is accused of entering the bus and getting into a fight with Ernest Byrd Jr., 58, who pulled out a gun. He allegedly took the gun, fatally shot Byrd and threatened passengers with the weapon, officials said.

Several law enforcement officers, including Atlanta police, Georgia State Patrol troopers, Gwinnett police and DeKalb County police, swarmed the bus as it led a pursuit into Gwinnett. The DeKalb SWAT unit ultimately stopped it.

The SWAT unit’s BearCat, a 10-ton armored transport vehicle wrapped with ½-inch to 1½-inch thick steel bodywork, came grille to grille with the bus about a half-hour after the pursuit began.

Master Patrol Officer Dashawn Thomas said he had to navigate lots of other vehicles — and police officers — as he got the BearCat into position.

“We train a lot on vehicle takedowns, and specifically on buses,” Thomas previously told the AJC. “So I knew that the weight of the BearCat would be able to intercept the bus and bring it to a stop.”

Grier faces charges of murder, hijacking a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and several counts of kidnapping and aggravated assault.