The man stabbed to death Monday afternoon on H Street NE was attacked by a stranger as he boarded a MetroBus, police said Friday as they announced the arrest of the suspect.
Eric Lee Smith, 44, was boarding a bus on the 800 block of H Street NE about 3:45 p.m. Monday when he was involved in an argument, Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Chief Peter Newsham said.
"As passengers were boarding the MetroBus, a fight broke out," Newsham said. "During the course of that fight, another individual -- the suspect we've arrested -- was believed to have come up and stabbed [Smith]."
The fight did not occur on the bus, Newsham said.
Smith, of Suitland, Md. was stabbed in the back, rushed to a hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead less than an hour later.
Hector L. Felix, 57, was arrested about 1 p.m. Friday at his home in Northwest D.C., Newsham said. He was charged with second-degree murder while armed.
Felix and Smith are believed to have been total strangers. The suspect was identified with the help of multiple witnesses, Newsham said. Several people who saw the attack along the X1, X2 and X9 bus route tried in vain to save Smith.
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In the District, 91 people have been murdered since the beginning of the year. That's more than a 26 percent jump over last year, when just 72 people had been murdered within the same time period.