Authorities in Washington state are actively searching for 17-year-old Miguel Robert Rivera Dominguez, who faces charges of first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. The charges come after an incident on October 3rd where Marcel Wagner was fatally shot aboard a King County Metro Transit bus. Dominguez, who is charged as an adult, is currently not in custody and has a set bail of $3 million.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office released information that the tragic event unfolded on a public bus with approximately 15 passengers. Surveillance systems on the bus captured the moment Wagner was shot at point-blank range in the head and neck, as well as the subsequent actions of Dominguez, which included shooting at the bus doors to facilitate his escape. Court documents state that Wagner did not provoke the attack, and there had been no interaction between him and Dominguez prior to the shooting.
Prosecutors argue that Dominguez’s lack of criminal history does not mitigate the calculated nature of the crime, nor the risk he poses if released. The premeditation suggested by the actions on the bus and steps taken to conceal his identity have been emphasized by authorities as indicative of the gravity of the offense.
Surveillance footage is pivotal in painting a detailed picture of the events. Dominguez, accompanied by an unidentified minor, was seen on the bus dressed in a dark jacket, ski mask, jeans, and carrying a backpack. Throughout the bus ride, Dominguez showed no interaction with Wagner, who appeared to possibly be asleep. After indicating a stop, Dominguez suddenly began firing at Wagner without a word, causing panic and shock among the passengers, including the minor accompanying him.
Post-incident footage shows Dominguez entering a Boys and Girls Club, changing clothes, and then returning home. This information, combined with testimony from the minor who was with Dominguez, has been instrumental in the ongoing investigation. The minor confirmed Dominguez as the shooter and disclosed that they had not known Wagner.
The incident comes amidst a series of violent acts on public transit across the country, prompting heightened security measures. The King County Metro has increased its security guard presence and has been grappling with officer staffing shortages, a common issue among departments nationwide.
King County Metro has seen an increase in security measures following the shooting, doubling the number of unarmed security guards in its employ. The transit system covers a vast network with numerous daily commuters, amplifying the need for robust security protocols.
The shocking nature of this incident and others like it nationwide have raised concerns over public transit safety. Notable cases, including a subway shooting in New York and a stabbing on a Los Angeles subway, underscore the challenges of preventing such unpredictable attacks.
Dominguez’s arraignment is scheduled for November 6th. In the meantime, the King County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warning regarding his potentially armed status and the likelihood of him concealing his identity while in public.
The investigation continues as detectives use various resources, including local surveillance footage, to trace Dominguez’s movements after the incident. The case is particularly complex due to the lack of apparent motive and the suspect’s efforts to evade capture. The King County Sheriff’s Office and local authorities urge anyone with information to come forward to aid in the apprehension of Dominguez.