Egyptian boy hailed a 'hero' for calling police in Italy school bus hijacking

Egyptian boy hailed a 'hero' for calling police in Italy school bus hijacking
Copyright Vigili del Fuoco/Handout via REUTERS
Copyright Vigili del Fuoco/Handout via REUTERS
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros with Ansa
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An Egyptian is being hailed a "hero" for hiding his cellphone from bus driver and calling police in Wednesday's school bus hijack.

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The father of a 13-year-old Egyptian boy who called the police aboard the school bus that was hijacked and later set ablaze by a Senegalese bus driver said on Thursday he would like to see his son get Italian citizenship.

“My son did his duty, it would be nice if he could now get Italian citizenship,” said Khalid Shehata, the father of Ramy, who hid his phone from the bus driver when he confiscated them from other students and was able to call emergency services from inside the vehicle.

Police spokesman Marco Palmieri said the driver — 47-year-old Ousseynou Sy, a Senegalese with Italian citizenship — told officers after he was arrested: “Stop the deaths at sea, I'll carry out a massacre."

READ MORE: Man who hijacked Italy school bus acted as 'lone wolf', says Milan anti-terrorism unit

Ramy, who’s been hailed a hero by his classmates, was born in Italy but does not have Italian nationality.

“We're Egyptians, I arrived in Italy in 2001, my son was born here in 2005 but we're still waiting for the official document,” said Shehata, adding they would really like to stay in Italy.

Deputy Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, said they would “evaluate” the request for citizenship.

The boy told Ansa that he wanted to be a Carabiniere when he grows up.

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