WINNIPEG — The trial of a man accused of killing a Winnipeg bus driver has heard from a witness who testified he saw two men fighting.
Irvine Fraser died after being repeatedly stabbed outside the bus on Feb. 14, 2017.
Brian Thomas is charged with second-degree murder.
In testimony Thursday, eyewitness Ridwan Hazeez told the court that the driver hit a passenger during a fight outside the bus.
Hazeez also acknowledged that he later told police that the bus driver was beating the passenger up.
Jurors have previously watched security footage of a verbal and physical altercation between Fraser and Thomas on a bus parked on the University of Manitoba campus.
Hazeez testified he was walking home when he saw a bus driver and a passenger in a struggle.
"When the passenger spat on the bus driver, the bus driver came out of the bus and they start fighting," Hazeez testified.
He also told court that in the days following the stabbing he told detectives that the driver was beating the passenger up.
Hazeez testified the bus driver swept the passenger off his feet and took him to the ground during the struggle before the driver moved backwards from the passenger and toward the bus.
"I saw blood on the floor," Hazeez testified. "And I saw he was holding his neck."
Hazeez said the passenger was holding a knife.
He told court the passenger appeared to be intoxicated and ran off after stabbing the driver.
The Crown contends that Thomas, 24, was the last passenger on Fraser's bus run and that Fraser, 58, repeatedly told him to get off the bus. Thomas refused, became angry and demanded to be driven elsewhere.
The Crown believes that Fraser then physically forced Thomas out the door and stood in the doorway to prevent him from getting back in.
Fraser's death prompted calls for increased safety measures on Winnipeg buses, including safety shields for drivers.
The trial is to continue Monday. (CTV Winnipeg)