CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police released photos of a suspect and their vehicle in connection with the killing of Ethan Rivera, a Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) bus driver who was shot during a suspected road rage incident in Uptown Charlotte last Friday.
During a 2 p.m. news conference, CMPD homicide Capt. Joel McNelly said the suspect was driving a black Honda Pilot that ranges the years 2003 to 2005. McNelly said the suspect's vehicle has running boards down both sides and has two square backup lights on the left and right of the license plate, which are particular to that year model Honda Pilot.
McNelly said CMPD hasn't yet identified the license plate of the suspect vehicle. He said once detectives are able to determine that license plate number, they'll release it to the public.
Rivera's mother, Sylvia Rivera, begged for anyone who knows anything about the shooting, which happened near Truist Ballpark in Uptown, to come forward.
"Please, somebody, if you know anything, say something," she said. "This animal has to be taken off the street. If it happened to my son, your child could be next because this person didn't seem to care who Ethan was or who he was leaving behind."
A GoFundMe to help the Rivera family during this tragedy has raised more than $8,200.
CMPD also released two photos of the suspect. McNelly said they could only describe the suspect as a male. He explained that no further details of the case would be released at this time because detectives don't want any potential witnesses' testimony to be impacted by what they've seen from CMPD.
"If that person looks familiar to you and you know that person to drive a dark-colored Honda Pilot, we need to hear from you," McNelly said.
"He had a tremendous heart and he had a tremendous smile," Sylvia Rivera said. "His kids are going to be brought up ... they don't have a dad, and that's very painful. I please beg you, if you know anything, please, please call. Say something."
Capt. Brad Koch said Rivera's killing was one of four reported road rage cases in the Uptown area in the past week. Koch said four of the six aggravated assaults in CMPD's Central Division, which includes all of Uptown inside the Interstate 277 loop, are road rage cases.
"The victims weren't injured in those cases but we can all agree that the outcome of these types of actions could've been much worse," Koch said.
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