HART offers support for family of driver killed by passenger

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A HART bus driver who was stabbed to death over the weekend is being remembered as a hero.

Thomas Dunn was driving on Nebraska Avenue when a passenger attacked him with a knife and then tried to run away.

Witnesses said though Dunn was slipping away right before their eyes, he managed to safely pull over.

"How many people would be able to do what he did, gasping for air and stopping a bus," said Michael Dunn, Thomas' older brother.

The suspect, identified by Tampa police as Justin McGriff, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. According to investigators, the attack appeared to be random and senseless.

"We've got years of picking up pieces," said Michael Dunn, who in tears, remembered his brother who he described as a 'big teddy bear.'

Family members say Dunn worked for HART for about three years and was a dedicated employee.

"Treated everyone like a person," was one of Dunn's most distinct attributes, according to his brother.

Dunn also took safety very seriously. Five months ago, he spoke before the Hillsborough Transit Authority, expressing his concern over an assault he experienced.

"The lady decides she's going to try to break my arm on the way out of the bus, try to draw blood in my arm," was part of what Dunn described during the meeting with transit officials.

Days after Dunn's tragic death, his family believes more could have been done to protect Dunn and other drivers.

HART officials say they take the concerns seriously and are working to find real solutions to "isolated incidents." Simultaneously, HART announced the creation of two financial support funds for the Dunn family, including a scholarship fund for his three children.

For more information, visit https://secure.qgiv.com/for/tdmf/.

The family has also set up an online fundraiser.