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State seeking death penalty against man accused of killing HART bus driver

Hillsborough County

Last updated at 5:23 a.m.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – State prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against a man who has been charged with murder in the death of a Hillsborough County bus driver.

Thomas Dunn, a bus driver for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) died in May after being stabbed by a passenger. Police later identified the suspect passenger as 35-year-old Justin Ryan McGriff.

According to officers, McGriff had been arguing with Dunn before the stabbing. Afterward, witnesses told police McGriff got off the bus and ran toward I-275. He was later captured and charged with first-degree murder and resisting arrest without violence.

On Monday, a representative with the Office of the State Attorney Hillsborough County confirmed to News Channel 8 they will seek the death penalty in the case.

Dunn’s death sparked safety discussions among bus drivers throughout the Tampa Bay area and led to action in two counties.

Less than a month after Dunn’s death, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) took action and announced new safety barriers with extended tempered glass to protect drivers. About a week later, HART announced similar safety barriers would be installed on all HART buses and HARTFlex vans.

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