CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — Video released Friday revealed shocking moments on a Charlotte Area Transit System bus as a driver and passenger get into a shootout.
The new video shows an argument escalated quickly into a hail of gunfire.
Queen City News, CBS 17’s sister station in Charlotte, spoke exclusively with another passenger on that bus who came inches from being shot himself.
“I was right there, like you have no idea,” Joshua Davis recalls the moment gunfire erupted on a CATS bus he was riding May 18.
He was just trying to get to work at the Charlotte Premium Outlets.
Davis hasn’t seen video released by CATS Friday; he doesn’t have to. He was there and knows how close he came to potentially losing his life.
“My instincts when I saw guns and heard gun shots was to hit the floor,” he said.
We now know the passenger, 22-year-old Omarri Tobias wanted to get off the bus before the next stop. The bus driver, David Fullard declined that request.
“I had a bad feeling from the time that the young man got on the bus,” Davis told Queen City News. “It’s an eerie feeling. I can’t really explain it.”
Tobias got agitated and told the bus driver to touch him so he could claim self-defense. In the video, he’s seen pulling out a gun. That’s when the driver and passenger started shooting at each other. Davis, who was sitting closest to the confrontation hit the deck.
“There was a young lady on the bus, and she was saying, ‘open the door,’” Davis recalled. “So, I was trying to pry the door open, but of course you can’t do that. A button has to be pushed.”
The driver continued shooting at the suspect with two other passengers ducking for cover.
“It bothers me more and more every day because I thank God that I’m here, you know what I’m saying?” he said. “That I didn’t get shot.”
Tobias, who was shot, is in jail. The driver, who was also shot, was fired from his job for bringing a gun to work.
“Bus drivers are not supposed to carry firearms,” Davis said, “but I’m like, so what are we doing to protect them? Because bus drivers have already been harmed in the past.”
Davis says every day is different as he processes what happened.
“Because I’m not the type of person who displays a lot of emotion, I don’t really know how to deal with what I’m feeling,” he said.
Riding a bus has been out of the question. Even going to work has been triggering for him, but at home he reflects on how lucky he is to be alive.
“I could have been hurt; you know what I’m saying?” Davis said with a sigh, “but I thank God that I wasn’t.”
Davis says he hasn’t told his 11- and 14-year-old kids about what happened, and he doesn’t think he will. He’s tried reaching out to the bus driver to check on him and thank him, but he hasn’t been able to contact Fullard.
Something that’s not in the video is that Davis says the suspect reportedly came back on the bus to retrieve something. Davis says he looked him in the eye and pleaded for him to leave without any more violence.