CATS provided an update yesterday on a shooting altercation that occurred between a bus driver, David Fullard, and a passenger Omarri Shariff Tobias on bus 1030, Route 56.
On May 18, the two men got into an altercation when Tobias asked Fullard to get off between stops at Steele Creek Premium Outlet Mall.
After a two-minute exchange, Tobias pulled a firearm on Fullard. Fullard, in turn, pulled a firearm on Tobias. Both men fired their weapons and shot each other. Both Fullard and Tobias were injured; they are both expected to recover.
All CATS bus operators are employed by RATP Dev.
RATP Dev.’s rules state: “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 the press release, RAPT Dev has “concluded the termination process” of Fullard.
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.
There is a recorded video of the altercation. Cagle said at yesterday’s press conference that CATS is awaiting approval from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to release the video to the public.
“We want to acknowledge that this incident is a tragic expression of the gun violence in our community,” said Brent Cagle, interim CEO of CATS, 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 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 still ongoing.