A heated argument between a Charlotte-Mecklenburg bus driver and a passenger escalated into a violent shootout, as revealed by newly released video footage. The incident occurred on May 18 near the Charlotte Premium Outlet Mall in North Carolina. Bus driver David Fullard and passenger Omarri Shariff Tobias were injured in the exchange of gunfire.
According to CATS spokesperson Brandon Hunter, the altercation began when Tobias requested an unscheduled stop, which Fullard refused. The situation quickly escalated into a verbal confrontation that lasted approximately two minutes.
In the recorded video, Tobias approaches Fullard while the bus is in motion. Both individuals draw weapons and begin firing at each other, causing chaos and shattering glass. Two other bystanders on the bus quickly retreat to the back, seeking safety.
The video captures Tobias fleeing to the rear of the bus, while one bystander crawls in the aisle to avoid the gunfire. Eventually, the bus comes to a stop, allowing one of the bystanders to exit. Fullard reenters the bus, fires additional shots, and then leaves through the front door.
Following the incident, both Fullard and Tobias were taken to the hospital. Tobias sustained life-threatening injuries, while Fullard’s injuries were non-life-threatening. Tobias now faces charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, communicating threats, and carrying a concealed firearm.
Fullard has been terminated from his position at RATP Dev, his employer. The incident raises questions about de-escalation protocols and the need for additional training for bus operators. CATS spokesperson Brandon Hunter emphasized that such incidents are rare and that the organization is committed to working with law enforcement and RATP Dev to address the issue.
Brent Cagle, interim CEO of CATS, stated that collaborative efforts are necessary to address the problem, acknowledging that it cannot be resolved by CATS alone. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a safe environment for passengers and staff within public transportation systems.