Argument on Port Authority bus leads to one man being shot in the neck

By Terri Hill | January 2, 2019

An argument on a Port Authority bus Tuesday morning has landed a man in jail after police say he pulled a gun on another passenger and shot him in the neck.

The argument, according to Port Authority police, started when Rodney Culberson, 25, of Pittsburgh, accused another man who police identified in a criminal complaint as Joseph Thomas, 29, also of Pittsburgh, of approaching him and “locked eyes with him asking what he was looking at and walked over to him.”

Culberson told Thomas to relax “because he don’t know what he is capable of and vice versa,” police wrote in the court filing. He said Thomas followed him onto the bus and became aggressive, “reaching toward his waistband.”

Culberson told police that he felt threatened at the time he fired the shot at Thomas. At this point Thomas grabbed the gun from Culberson, but not before Culberson was able to remove the magazine from the gun and toss it off to the side.

A bus video captured the shooting, which shows both Culberson and Thomas sitting in the rear of the bus and arguing.  The two switched seats a few times before they stood up and continued to argue. Culberson is then seen removing a gun from his waistband with his right hand and shooting Thomas, the complaint alleged.

Thomas was taken by medics to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Police found several bags of marijuana on each man, the complaint said.

Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie said there were about a dozen people on the bus when the shooting happened.

Culberson is facing charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Thomas is charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana. His injuries are not life-threatening.

Terri Hill can be contacted at

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