A man was arrested in Milan Wednesday after he allegedly hijacked a school bus filled with 51 students, and set it on fire.
The school bus driver, Ousseynou Sy, a 47-year-old Italian citizen of Senegalese origin, would likely have pulled off the mass murder if it hadn’t been for a 13-year-old boy who hid his phone and secretly called his father for help, according to the BBC.
Ramy Shehata, who was born to Egyptian parents in Italy in 2005, is being called a hero by helping lead police to the bus, which had already been drenched in gasoline.
Following a brief standoff, Sy set the bus on fire and police quickly smashed out the windows, enabling the children to escape.
No serious injuries were reported.
The suspect told police he staged the attack to protest Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s decision to cut search-and-rescue operations for undocumented immigrants crossing from northern Africa to Italy via the Mediterranean Sea.
The attacker didn’t claim any ties to terrorist organizations.
Officials have signaled they will revoke Sy’s citizenship, and grant citizenship to Shehata.
Get a glimpse of the aftermath here:
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) March 20, 2019