Jacksonville school bus driver hailed a hero after shooting

“All I know is to get down and save my babies. I had 30 babies on there,” said Carole Houston, whose bus was caught in shooting. A bullet struck the front window.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Carole Houston has been driving Bus 26 for Young Kids in Motion for only a year now.

On Monday, she was driving her normal route dropping off students from the K-12 private school on the Southside.

“I continued to go in and drop off my two stops in the apartments,” said Carole Houston.

Seconds later, she was stopped in her tracks.

“When I got to the first dumpster on the entrance side, bullets just started flying,” she said.

Houston’s bus was caught in a crossfire of gunshots and a bullet went through her windshield.

“All I know is to get down and save my babies. I had 30 babies on there, 31 including myself. I got down, the bus was still rolling, it was still in drive. I ended up getting all my babies down on the floor,” said Houston.

As she could still hear bullets flying by her bus, she said she had to act quickly for the safety of the kids onboard.

“I finished hearing the bullets I got up myself and told them to stay down and I got back in the driver seat it was glass all over the seat but I wanted to make sure my babies were safe so getting them out of harms way was my biggest thing. So I got back in the driver seat and got to a safer spot,”  she said.

Once she drover her students to safety, Houston called her boss, Meltonia Wright. 

“She was like ‘Ms. Toni they shot my bus, I got a bullet hole in front of my bus,'” Wright recalled. “It was just horrific, it was just horrible. It was just too much. I would have never seen this coming.”

Wright, along with parents of students onboard, are calling Houston a hero. 

“She’s our hero. I tell her that. You are our hero, you saved my babies, and I couldn’t ask for nothing more from you. I’m very grateful Ms. Houston saved our kids,” said Wright

What is Houston feeling today? She’s relieved, “just knowing that many lives were in my hand and I did the best I could to make sure all of them were safe.”

Administrators closed school today because of this incident and staff received training to help kids cope when they return back to class tomorrow.

The school has also reached out to Victims Services to see if they could send counselors for students.

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