East L.A. bus stabbing victim dies; suspect now faces murder charge

Surveillance photo of stabbing suspect

East Los Angeles — The 27-year-old suspect in the unprovoked stabbing onboard a Whittier Boulevard bus last April now faces a first-degree murder charge after the victim died this week, the L.A. Sheriff’s Department said.

Manuel Ortiz Jr. — aka Chubbs — had originally been charged with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem following the April 9 attack onboard a Montebello transit bus. Following the death of the victim on June 10 in a hospital,  Ortiz’s charges will be amended to first degree murder, the LASD said in a statement. His bail was also raised to $2 million from $1.35 million

Ortiz was arrested a few days after authorities released a surveillance video recorded on the bus.

The victim has been identified as Austin Zavala, who was riding the bus on his way to class at East Los Angeles College, reports CBS 2 and Telemundo 52.

Zavala was headed to East L.A. College, where he was studying accounting, according to the college newspaper, Campus News.

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