CATS bus driver terminated after shooting at passenger

Charlotte Area Transportation Systems (CATS) announced it has terminated a bus operator follow a shooting that occurred on bus 1030, Route 56. 

On May 18, two men — driver David Fullard and passenger Omarri Shariff Tobias — got into an altercation that resulted in gunfire when Tobias asked to get off between stops near Steele Creek Premium Outlet Mall. 

After a two-minute verbal exchange, Tobias pulled out a firearm. Fullard did the same.

Both men fired their weapons and shot at one other. Fullard and Tobias were injured; they are both expected to recover. 

Two other passengers were on the bus at the time of the altercation, but they were not injured. CMPD Steele Creek officers confiscated both weapons. 

RATP Dev, the transportation system management company that employs all CATS bus operators prohibits possession of a firearm.

RATP Dev’s company policy states: “Possession of a firearm or other weapon prohibited by the company’s workplace violence policy while on duty or on company property is subject to discharge for the first violation.”

According to a press release sent Wednesday, RAPT Dev has “concluded the termination process” of Fullard. 

The release also shared that Tobias has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, communicating threats and carrying a concealed firearm.

It is unknown at this time, whether CMPD will file charges against Fullard. 

Brent Cagle, interim CEO of CATS, said at yesterday’s press conference that CATS is awaiting approval from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to release a recorded video of the incident to the public. 

“We want to acknowledge that this incident is a tragic expression of the gun violence in our community,” Cagle said in a statement. “We will not be able to solve this problem on our own. However, CATS is committed to doing what we can address this with our partners at CMPD and our partners at RATP Dev, who employ and manage our bus operators.”

According to the release, CATS determined that Fullard did not follow standard operating procedures for de-escalation in a threatening situation. Bus operators are trained to use three methods to communicate in emergency situations: a radio and two alarms. 

Cagle said at a press conference yesterday that  Fullard did not use the silent alarm on the bus, which would have notified the Bus Operations Control Center that Fullard needed an “immediate” response from security and/or law enforcement.

Cagle said all systems are regularly tested and function properly. 

An investigation is ongoing. 

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