CATS bus shooter faces felony charges — and more jail time in Charlotte, records show.
The Charlotte man who recently opened fire on a city bus will now face felony charges.
Omarri Shariff Tobias, 22, shot a bus driver near Charlotte Premium Outlet Mall Thursday morning, police said.
Tobias, now in custody, faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injuries, carrying a concealed firearm and communicating threats, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department news release.
Tobias and the bus driver shot at each other after getting into an argument, a spokesperson for Charlotte Area Transit System told The Charlotte Observer.
Paramedics took both the driver and Tobias to the hospital, police said. Tobias had life-threatening injuries.
It is not clear whether the bus driver will face charges.
In 2022, 41-year-old CATS driver Ethan Rivera was shot while aboard his bus and died a day later on Feb. 12. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say a road rage incident led to the shooting.
After a two-week manhunt, authorities arrested Darian Dru Thavychith, 21, at a gas station in Shawnee, Kansas, according to police in the Kansas City suburb. Thavychith later was charged with murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle.
The proposed CATS capital project budget has more than $5.5 million allocated for camera replacements, dispatch upgrades and safety programs for 2024-2028 to increase security on transit routes.
Charlotte City Councilman Ed Driggs said this was in the CATS budget long before last week’s shooting — and it’s needed.
”The concerns for safety are a reflection of concerns of safety in our city generally,” said Driggs who chairs the city’s transportation committee. “Young people are shooting each other for minor disputes.”
According to jail records, police arrested Tobias four times in the last three years.
He previously faced charges for strangulation, trespassing, communicating threats, assaulting a female and driving a stolen car, according to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office website. He was last released from jail September 2021.
The bus shooting is one of several confrontations that have recently sparked conversation about gun violence locally and across the nation.
On April 18, a man shot at a family in Gaston County after a basketball rolled into his yard, according to police. He left a 6-year-old girl with a stitched cheek.
On April 24, an 8-year-old girl woke up to a bullet piercing her head in the middle of the night. It was a drive-by shooting, police said. Officials have yet to release any information about a motive. The girl, Olivia Velez, has since endured life-altering injuries and lost feeling in half her body, her family said.
Also on April 24, Robert Prebble dropped a semi-automatic pistol during Cracker Barrel’s dinner service, police said. The stray bullet left one man inside the restaurant with shrapnel permanently in his leg. Police did not arrest Prebble, 64, of Ohio, for violating North Carolina concealed weapons law. They instead issued a citation, according to police records.