A wild shootout between the driver of a Charlotte city bus and a passenger shattered plexiglass and sent terrified passengers scrambling for cover.
The incident happened on May 18, though the video was just released. It began when a passenger walked up to the driver to complain about a missed stop.
Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) officials reported that Omarri Tobias began arguing with the driver and demanded that he immediately stop the bus. David Fullard refused, and Tobias allegedly produced a handgun.
The driver was also armed, and it is unclear who fired first. The plexiglass barrier separating the two quickly shattered, and the two other passengers on the bus dove for protection.
CATS driver and a passenger have a shootout on the bus.
22-year-old Omarri Shariff Tobias, allegedly tried to ride the bus without paying, which prosecutors said helped lead to the confrontation.
Four different angles of the newly released video show two other… pic.twitter.com/hwye87urJs
— Real Life Footage (@RealLifeFootage) May 28, 2023
Fullard was shot in the arm but managed to shoot the angry passenger in the stomach. The video showed Tobias trying to crawl away with Fullard firing more shots in his direction.
Authorities reported that both men sustained critical injuries and were hospitalized. They are, however, expected to recover.
When the driver is released, he will be looking for another job. A CATS spokesperson confirmed that Fullard was fired for his role in the incident, even though he apparently was not the initial aggressor.
CATs interim CEO Brent Cagle told reporters that “we don’t want anyone possessing weapons on our vehicles.” He explained that it is standard procedure for drivers not to make unscheduled stops to allow passengers to disembark, but that is up to the discretion of the driver.
Cagle also said that Fullard had three alarms available to alert others to the dangerous situation but failed to use any of them.
The driver’s attorney, Ken Harris, reported that his client worked for the transit system for over 20 years. “He loves his job and he wants to continue to be there.”
He said, however, that Fullard and other drivers were nervous about violence on the city buses. “You have these incidents that happen over and over again, where drivers are being assaulted, shot at, shot or killed.”
Tobias was issued a $250,000 bond and a laundry list of charges. They include assault with a deadly weapon, serious injury, carrying a concealed weapon, and communicating threats.