Dramatic video captures shootout between Charlotte bus driver and passenger

Dramatic video shows a bus driver and passenger opening fire on each other on a moving bus in Charlotte, North Carolina, earlier this month following an argument that left both men injured, transit authorities said.

The shootout, which unfolded on May 18 while others were onboard the bus, began after a passenger identified by authorities as Omarri Shariff Tobias got up while the vehicle was moving, and asked the driver to let him off between stops, according to a news release from Charlotte Area Transit System.

The driver, David Fullard, told Tobias he would have to wait until the next designated stop, the transit system said, according to NBC affiliate WCNC, which is based in Charlotte.

In video of the altercation released by the transit system, Tobias appears to taunt Fullard as he continues to drive, according to WCNC. Tobias then appears to pull out a gun, with Fullard taking out his own firearm moments later.

Bullets can then be seen shattering a barrier between the driver and the passenger. It was not immediately clear from the video who fired first. CATS did not immediately respond to an overnight request for comment from NBC News.

Fullard was struck by a bullet in the arm and Tobias was hit in the abdomen, the transit system said in its news release.

Tobias faces several charges over the incident, including assault with a deadly weapon, WCNC reported.

RATP Dev, the third-party operator of the city’s buses, said it had “parted ways” with Fullard after he violated employee policy by carrying a firearm on the job, according to the news outlet. RATP Dev did not immediately respond to an overnight request for comment from NBC News.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department has not announced any criminal charges against the bus driver.

Brent Cagle, the interim CEO for CATS said an investigation found Fullard did not use any of three alarm systems available to bus drivers, according to WCNC. He also said it was standard procedure to not allow passengers off between bus stops, but said drivers can make an allowance if necessary.

“If they believe that it’s in the best interest and they can do that safely, to let the passenger out even at an undesignated stop, that’s completely a reasonable action for them to take,” Cagle said.

Attorney Ken Harris, who represents Fullard, told WCNC the bus driver had worked with CATS for nearly 20 years.

“Mr. Fullard is a long-term employee of the CATS bus system,” Harris said, ahead of the announcement that RATP Dev had parted ways with the bus driver. “He loves his job and he wants to continue to be there and we want to make sure we address any issues that could come up related to this incident.”

Harris also said that incidents of bus drivers being injured and assaulted while doing their jobs have been a persistent issue in Charlotte.

“You have these incidents that happen over and over again, where drivers are being assaulted, shot at, shot, or killed,” Harris said earlier this week. “It creates a situation where drivers fear that they won’t make it home.”

In February 2022, a CATS bus driver, Ethan Rivera, was shot in what authorities said was believed to be a road rage incident. He died from his injuries the next day, according to WCNC.

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