On Oct. 30, 2023, at around 11:14 p.m. in SeaTac, a chilling crime unfolded on a King County Metro Transit bus, resulting in the death of Willy M. Mbugua, 24, who had been fatally stabbed.
The suspect, identified as Jimmy Lee Gorman, 27, was arrested four days later in connection with the incident and is now facing second degree murder charges.
Charging documents from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office describe the grim sequence of events that began when Gorman pulled a knife on Mbugua, seated across from him on a Metro bus. Disturbing video footage captured the assailant threatening the victim by thrusting a knife toward Mbugua’s neck and holding it against him.
The assailant, accompanied by a female, exited the bus, leaving a stabbed Mbugua behind.
Despite suffering a single penetrating stab wound to his chest, Mbugua remained on the bus until the next stop. Less than 10 minutes later, he called 911, reporting his own stabbing and his critical condition. Tragically, Mbugua audibly groaned and became unresponsive during the call, and patrol officers later found him on the side of the road with a fatal wound to his chest.
Gorman, initially eluding authorities, was taken into custody four days later. In a subsequent police interview, he admitted to brandishing the knife, threatening, and ultimately stabbing Mbugua on the bus. The female companion’s accounts, including their explanation of events leading up to the stabbing, conflicted with evidence, notably the bus video footage.
The investigation revealed that Gorman was also under scrutiny for other stabbing incidents around public transit facilities in King County, including those on light rail stations in Seattle. Further evidence tied Gorman to a stabbing that occurred six days prior to Mbugua’s death.
Authorities argue that Gorman poses a significant danger to the community and is likely to commit violent offenses if released. Moreover, Gorman’s lack of ties to the local jurisdiction raises concerns about potential flight.
As we previously reported, on the night of the incident, Mbugua’s 911 call provided crucial information, though his difficulty in describing his location initially complicated response efforts. The subsequent investigation, including autopsy results, bus video analysis, and coordination with other law enforcement agencies led to the identification and arrest of Gorman and his female companion.
Gorman’s admission during the police interview shed light on the motive behind the stabbing, attributing it to fear after an encounter with Mbugua. The subsequent search of the motel room where Gorman and Tammy Crawford were staying yielded clothing matching those seen in the bus video and several knives, including the one used in the fatal attack.
The suspect’s connection to prior stabbing incidents, highlighted in a bulletin from the Seattle Police Department, added another layer to the case. Gorman’s arrest, based on probable cause for murder, brings some closure to the series of violent incidents, but the investigation remains ongoing.