Transit officials said a dispute over a missed bus stop led to a shootout between the driver and passenger, and it was all captured on security footage.
Newly released surveillance footage shows a dramatic shootout between a Charlotte, North Carolina bus driver and a passenger while the bus was in motion. https://t.co/OI8Wh5pQFn
— ABC News (@ABC) May 28, 2023
The incident occurred on a bus in Charlotte, North Carolina, on May 18, 2023, when a passenger confronted the driver.
According to Charlotte Area Transit System spokesperson Brandon Hunter, Omarri Tobias began arguing with the driver, David Fullard, demanding to be allowed off the bus between stops. Fullard said no, followed by a “two-minute escalation of verbal altercation,” Hunter said.
Security footage captures Tobias pulling out a gun, with Fullard following suit. The Plexiglas barrier between them became shattered with bullet holes. It is unclear from the video who engaged in the shootout first.
Other passengers on the bus can be seen rushing to the ground to try and avoid getting shot. Fullard proceeded to follow Tobias off the bus after he crawled away and continued firing shots at him.
Both men were critically injured during the shootout and were later hospitalized. They will likely make a full recovery.
Fullard no longer works with the city bus operator after the company accused him of violating their policies against carrying weapons.
“We don’t want anyone possessing weapons on our vehicles,” Brent Cagle, the interim CEO of the Charlotte Area Transit System, said.
Cagle added that it was standard “procedure” for drivers to prevent passengers from getting off the bus between stops but said such a decision is up to the driver’s discretion. He said Fullard failed to use several alarms provided to drivers for such incidents.
Fullard’s attorney, Ken Harris, said he had worked with the transit system for 20 years.
“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 said before he lost his job.
Harris said bus drivers are afraid of violence occurring at their jobs.
“You have these incidents that happen over and over again, where drivers are being assaulted, shot at, shot or killed,” he explained.
Tobias faces multiple charges over the incident, but it’s unclear whether Fullard will face charges.