• Man shot in the neck during argument on Port Authority bus downtown


    PITTSBURGH - A man was shot during an altercation on a commuter bus in downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning.

    Police from the Port Authority of Allegheny County police and Pittsburgh responded to the scene near the corner of Liberty Avenue and Ninth Street around 11 a.m., according to a criminal complaint.

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    An officer who got on the bus saw two men fighting on the bus. One of them, a man police identified as Joseph Thomas, shouted that he had been shot and needed help, according to the complaint.

    When the officer moved to help him, he saw a pistol fall on the floor of the bus, according to the complaint.

    Other officers arrived and separated the two and detained the other man, identified as Rodney Culberson. Police picked up the gun and found it was loaded with a round in the chamber, according to the complaint.

    Police allegedly found marijuana on both men, according to the complaint. Thomas was taken to UPMC Mercy in stable condition with a gunshot wound to his neck. 

    While police were taking Culberson off the bus, he allegedly admitted to shooting Thomas, according to the complaint. He later allegedly told police Thomas approached him in a threatening manner at the bus stop, followed him onto the bus and became aggressive while reaching for his waistband.

    Security video from the bus allegedly shows the men on the bus in a verbal argument when Culberson pulled out a gun and shot Thomas, according to the complaint. As Thomas tried to get away, Culberson followed him and two began to struggle.


    Witnesses told Channel 11 they watched the fight unfold.

    "We just came up and there was a noise on the bus. And two people appeared to be wrestling each other into a seat," said Alicia Alexander, who works in that area and was outside when the bus stopped right in front of her.

    One man told us there was a baby on board when the shot was fired.

    "The lady with the baby got out and was standing right outside the door and we could hear her call police," said Chance Cope. "We heard her say there was a gun. Then she told them he had taken the clip out."

    Culberson faces charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and possession.



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