Suspect wanted in road rage killing of CATS bus driver identified – WSOC TV

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A suspect wanted in the fatal road rage shooting of a Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) bus driver in uptown earlier this month has been identified, according to an arrest warrant obtained by Channel 9.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police issued a warrant Friday for the arrest of Darian Dru Thavychith, 21, who is accused of fatally shooting Ethan Rivera, 41. He is facing charges for murder and discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office provided the warrant and picture of Thavychith to Channel 9. It’s unclear if he’s in custody.

Channel 9′s Tina Terry also learned Monday that Thavychith has a few prior charges. According to records, he was charged for possession of marijuana before it was dismissed in 2018. He also had a minor traffic conviction from the same year and a pending case for speeding and reckless driving from 2020.

[PAST COVERAGE: CATS bus driver killed in road rage shooting while driving in uptown Charlotte, police say]

Investigator said Rivera was shot while driving a bus along West Trade Street near South Graham Street around 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 10. Rivera died from his injuries the following day at a local hospital.

Officers said Rivera was actively driving his bus when another driver shot him. The shooting is being investigated as a road rage incident, they said.

Police said four passengers who were also on the CATS bus at the time of the shooting were not hurt.

[RELATED: ‘He was a good person’: Vigil held for slain CATS bus driver Ethan Rivera]

Last week, CMPD released photos of the suspect and his vehicle. Police said they were searching for a 2003-2005 black Honda Pilot with running boards.

Rivera had worked for CATS for just over two years, the agency said.

“This animal has to be taken off the street,” Sylivia Rivera, Ethan’s mother, said last week. “If this happened to my son, your child could be next, because this person didn’t care who Ethan was, or who he was leaving behind.”

Since his death, Rivera’s CATS co-workers have mourned his loss and protested the conditions they said contributed to the fatal shooting.

On Thursday night, a vigil was held to remember Rivera. The following day, CATS workers and Rivera’s loved ones gathered in uptown wearing “I am Ethan” shirts and asking for more safety measures on CATS buses.

[READ MORE: ‘That could have been me’: CATS workers push for additional safety measures after road rage shooting]

“That could have been me, left home and never went back,” said Hasson Trent, who has worked for CATS for 15 years. He said drivers are often the target of verbal and physical abuse.

Workers said they are worried Rivera’s death won’t be the last if changes aren’t made.

“What’s it going to take? Four, five, six, seven people to die? We’re not army members; we’re in the transportation business,” said Trent.

CATS workers requested additional officers at the transit center in uptown and along their routes. They also demanded bulletproof barriers and working phones on every bus.

“We are not on strike. We’re terrified. We’re upset. We haven’t been listened to,” bus driver Veronica Wallace said.

Channel 9 reached out to CATS to see if they will grant that safety request from drivers, but have not heard back at this point.

CMPD said the shooting was still under investigation. Anyone with more information is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly with a homicide detective.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: CATS bus driver dies day after being shot in uptown Charlotte, police say)

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