No bond for man accused of fatally stabbing Tampa bus driver

Image 1 of 6

A judge denied bond for the man accused of stabbing and killing a bus driver in Tampa last Saturday.

Prosecutors said Justin McGriff stabbed HART bus driver Thomas Dunn as he drove on the afternoon of May 18.

DeShawn Campbell was sitting toward the front of the bus when he witnessed the horrific attack.

"I seen him stab the bus driver a few times in the upper torso, around the neck," Campbell recalled.

Campbell said panic and chaos immediately followed.

"From him stabbing him two to four times, people started to panic from his actions," he said. "He kicked the front door tried to get it open as well as people panicking, trying to get out the back. So with all that commotion I chose to call the police." 

Dunn was able to pull the bus to the side of the road despite his critical injuries, prosecutors said. He died a short time later.

McGriff, who had managed to escape, was caught a short time later.

Detective Kenneth Nightlinger said investigators were able to track down McGriff walking near Interstate 275. He tried to run, but an officer used his taser to stop and arrest him.

Investigators watched surveillance video from the bus, which showed the moments leading up to the stabbing.

Nightlinger said McGriff and Dunn had a brief conversation, but nothing that would provoke what happened next.

"What I was able to hear was the defendant state to the bus driver, 'God Bless You,'" Nightlinger recalled during the bond hearing on Friday. "The bus driver says, 'Excuse me, what was that?'  The defendant repreats in a louder tone, 'God Bless You.' The bus driver says, 'God Bless You'  back -- and that is when the defendant lunges forward and stabs him."

After hearing all the evidence, the judge denied McGriff bond, ruling there were no sufficient bail conditions to protect the community. McGriff will remain in jail as he awaits his trial.