Tampa Bus Driver Stabbed To Death

May 19, 2019

Updated at 5:50 p.m.

Tampa Police say a city bus driver was stabbed and killed Saturday by a suspect they say was a passenger. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

The incident happened just after 4 p.m. on a bus traveling southbound on N. Nebraska Avenue, just south of Linebaugh Avenue. Police say the man stabbed the driver, who was still able to safely pull the bus over and stop it. Reports say the suspect ran off the HART bus and ran west toward Interstate 275.

The victim, who died at the scene, has not yet been identified.

"We are devastated by the tragic events that took place today involving our HART bus operator,” HART Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Limmer said in a statement. “We are working with the Tampa Police Department as they conduct their investigation into this horrific matter."

A witness description led officers to approach a man fitting the description. He ran, but was apprehended on the side of the northbound lanes of the I-275.

Justin Ryan McGriff, 35, was charged with first-degree murder following a fatal stabbing of a Tampa bus driver.
Credit Tampa Police

After talking with witnesses and reviewing video from the bus, police on Sunday charged Justin Ryan McGriff, 35, of Tampa with first-degree murder and resisting arrest. A police statement on Sunday afternoon said officers took McGriff into custody shortly after the stabbing because he fit the description provided by witnesses. He was charged with murder later during the day Sunday.

Police said in a statement they have no clear motive for the stabbing.