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‘How Could This Happen?’: Man Accused of Strangling a Black Woman to Death In the Back of a Phoenix City Bus Is Arrested and Charged

An Arizona man accused of strangling a 41-year-old Black woman on a public bus has been captured. The suspect had evaded law enforcement for days as the manhunt canvassed the state capital.

Joshua Bagley, 26, the man police say is responsible for the May 6 death by strangulation of Diane Craig on a city bus, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on May 10.

The Phoenix Police Department released a statement via its Facebook page about the arrest.

“After several days and tireless efforts that were a collaborative partnership between several units in the police department and the community,” the May 10 statement said. “The suspect in this case, Bagley, was taken into custody this afternoon in the area of 27th Avenue and Indian School Road.”

How Could This Happen?': Man Accused of Strangling a Black Woman to Death In the Back of a Phoenix City Bus Is Arrested and Charged
Joshua Bagley, the man accused of killing Diane Craig. (Photo: Phoenix Police Department)

The statement continued, “Mr. Bagley is currently in police custody as the booking and interview process is completed. More information will be provided as it becomes available. The Phoenix Police Department wishes to thank the community for their support and assistance in apprehending the suspect in this case.”

On the aforementioned Friday around 8 a.m., Craig was found unresponsive with marks around her throat on a bus near 27th Avenue and Baseline Road. After being rushed to a local hospital, the woman succumbed to injuries.

Doctors said she died of internal decapacitation. 

Police say Craig boarded the bus with Bagley. The driver told investigators the two were the only passengers on his bus, saying they sat close to each other in the back.

He said he heard them making noise in the back, but didn’t think twice about it.

Arrest documents state the bus driver made one stop near 19th and Southern Avenues when he noticed Bagley had moved to the front.

The bus driver made a second stop to use the bathroom at a gas station. He reportedly locked the doors on the bus and went inside the gas station. Once outside, he noticed Bagley was standing outside the gas station.

Surveillance footage from the bus reportedly shows Bagley taking straps from Craig’s bag and wrapping them around the woman’s neck, twisting them repeatedly, before pushing her down to the floor.

How Could This Happen?': Man Accused of Strangling a Black Woman to Death In the Back of a Phoenix City Bus Is Arrested and Charged
Surveillance footage screenshot of Joshua Bagley. (Photo: Phoenix Police Department)

Officials say that after Craig was left unconscious, Bagley went into her bag and removed items before exiting the bus.

Craig was discovered after the bus driver returned.

A GoFundMe has been set up by her father, Edward. He wrote, “My name is Edward Craig, and I am the father of the young lady that was killed on the city bus on Friday. Please help our family in this time of need. This was a tragedy and unexpected.”

“We need monetary contributions to help assist with the family need at this time,” he continued. “Thank you for your generous donations and kindness God Bless.”

At the time of publishing, the family raised over half of its goal of $11,000.

“We want to know how could this happen, how did it happen? More importantly, how does it never happen again?” asked the victim’s brother, Delbert Cole.

Other family members have expressed warm thoughts about the type of person Craig was. At a memorial for the woman, her cousin Roshuanda Boss said, “Diane was a wonderful person. She was so full of life.”

“She definitely did not deserve this,” Boss continued. “Our family is hurting.”

“Diane is her name but that’s Bubbles. That’s what we call her, that’s Bubbles. She was like the life of the room,” said another loved one, Shontae Vinson.

This was not the first time in the past month Bagley has been in law enforcement’s custody.

Court documents show, on May 1, he was booked into the Maricopa County Jail, but released on May 3, three days before allegedly assaulting and killing Craig.

In 2020, Bagley was sentenced to two years for disorderly conduct and attempting to flee from law enforcement. After serving a year, he was released on May 4, 2021.

Bagley’s bond has been set for $2 million.

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