Passenger recounts Charlotte bus shooting that left driver, suspect hurt

The shooting happened on May 18 near the Charlotte Premium Outlets.
Video captured the moment a passenger and CATS bus driver began firing shots at each other.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 5:42 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - More than a week after a shooting left two people hurt on a bus in southwest Charlotte, passengers who witnessed it are still processing their emotions.

Josh Davis was on the CATS bus on May 18, inches from where shots rang out that day outside Charlotte Premium Outlets.

“It was just an eerie feeling. Like something stupid was about to happen,” he remembered.

Davis, a father of two, said his mind were on his children during the time and 11 days later, it’s still a mix of emotions.

“I just gave my daughter a hug when I got back...because obviously I was thinking about her during the time,” he said.

“It’s terrible. I just thank God that it didn’t go left for me.”

The situation unfolded when another passenger, 22-year-old Omarri Tobias, threatened to shoot the bus driver. In response, the driver pulled a gun of his own, and shot Tobias.

Tobias returned fire, sending both men to the hospital. He was later charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injuries, communicating threats, and carrying a concealed firearm.

Related: GRAPHIC: Video of CATS bus shooting released

Davis, who along with a woman were the only other passengers on the bus, was on his way to work when the shots were fired.

“I almost couldn’t have been here,” he said. “[Just] because of something stupid that was going on.”

This marks one of the more recent instances of violence on CATS-operated transportation. Exactly two weeks earlier, on May 4, a man was stabbed on a train car, and was taken to the hospital with what Medic described as life-threatening injuries.

Last week, CATS released videos of both the stabbing and shooting.

In a press conference on May 24, CATS interim CEO Brent Cagle claimed the transit system is on the road to improvement.

“I have seen CATS make improvements, sometimes that gets lost in these incidents, but I am encouraged that CATS is moving forward in small and big ways every day,” Cagle said during the presser. “This is fixable. We’re moving forward.”

Related: As CATS problems grow, interim CEO claims they are ‘fixable’