Jeremy West, Man Who Rode Phoenix School Bus With a Gun, Says He Was Hearing Voices

Phoenix police discovered the apparent reason that 29-year-old Jeremy West hopped on a school bus with a gun and took a ride to an elementary school last week.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, West told police he got on the bus -- which transports special-education students -- because he "was hearing voices" and thought people were trying to kill him.

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That doesn't really explain the whole series of events last week, though, which started with West approaching a 14-year-old kid who was dropped off at his house near Georgia Avenue and 27th Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.

The kid later told police that this guy, whom he didn't know, approached him near his house and asked him if he wanted "a cigarette or a fix." The kid told West to leave him alone and went home, according to police.

Thursday morning, the kid got on the bus to go to Simpson Elementary School, and West got on the bus right behind him, and they sat down at the back of the bus.

Both the bus driver an adult "bus assistant" asked West what he was doing, and he said he was helping out the kid he'd followed on to the bus.

This explanation apparently worked until they arrived at the school, which is on the east side of I-17. At that point, West asked where the nearest church was, and walked away from the school.

Meanwhile, a 13-year-old kid on the bus found a fully loaded magazine on the seat where West was sitting.

West was identified, thanks to cameras on school buses, and tracked down to an apartment, not far from the school, and even closer to the home of the kid he'd allegedly approached the day before.

West directed police to his loaded Ruger handgun, and although West admitted to getting on the bus, and leaving the loaded magazine there, he denied bringing the rest of the gun on the bus.

Somehow, the children on the bus were able to describe what West's gun looked like, since it was sticking out of his pocket, according to court documents.

West told police he hopped on the bus because he was hearing the voices and "feared for his life." West believed people were trying to kill him, but he didn't know who, according to the documents.

According to court paperwork, West was being held in isolation in jail as his bond was set at $45,000 on a felony endangerment charge.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley