TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A HART passenger is being charged with one count of murder after police say he stabbed a driver to death, Saturday afternoon.
While Tampa police have not yet identifed the victim officially, Michael Dunn identified his brother, Thomas Dunn as the HART bus driver stabbed. Michael said his brother had been driving for HART for about 3 years.
We asked Michael Dunn if he or anyone from his family would speak about the incident and he said, “We can't at this time. We appreciate the sentiment and support from the community, but are not prepared to speak publicly.”
HART held a news conference Sunday night in response to the stabbing, “We take the safety and security of her passengers as a priority. It’s a paramount concern for all of us," HART spokesperson Colin Mulloy said.
It comes roughly 5 months after Dunn spoke at a December 3rd meeting where he raised concern about the safety of bus drivers after he says a woman who was a passenger assaulted him by spitting in his face and trying to break his arm.
We asked HART about Dunn’s remarks made at the that December meeting, but officials wouldn't give specifics as to what was done in response to his complaint.
“We put in a number of mechanisms to where we can receive that information we have a number of safety committee throughout the organization both in our transportation side or maintenance side as well as our street card side," Mulloy said.
The attack occurred shortly after 4 p.m. on a HART bus on Nebraska Avenue.
According to police, the suspect, 35-year-old Justin McGriff, fled from the bus after the stabbing and ran towards I-275. He was spotted near the highway and officers were able to take him into custody after he resisted arrest.
McGriff is charged with first-degree murder and resisting arrest.
Police said it's unclear what led up to the stabbing and the investigation is ongoing.