A livery car driver was critically wounded Friday night after his passenger shot him multiple times at the end of a $12 ride in South Ozone Park.
According to reports, Trevor Bell, 53, picked up the passenger at the headquarters of Big D Car Service on Merrick Boulevard, where he had worked for the last eight months. After driving him to his destination at 122nd Street and Sutter Avenue, Bell’s passenger fired multiple shots, one which hit Bell’s neck critically wounding him.
Police responded to the 911 call, and EMS rushed Bell to Jamaica Hospital where he is in critical condition.
“I came out and saw the guy bleeding,” Wilson Ramones told the New York Daily News. “I got closer, I could hear him screaming, he was saying ‘help.’”
The investigation on the shooting is still ongoing, and the police have released a surveillance video taken from the cab moments before the shooting.
From the surveillance tape, the suspect has been identified as 22-year-old Shawn Peace. Police warn that Peace is considered armed and dangerous.
Bell ended his shift at 7 p.m. on Friday night, but with the Christmas season approaching, he stayed late to gain some overtime, his boss said.
Working as a cab driver can be very dangerous. “It’s one man against the world. Every person that enters your car is a stranger,” said Fernando Mateo, head of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, according to the Daily News.
Mateo made further headlines at a press conference on Saturday in front of Jamaica Hospital.
“Profile your passengers. It’s very important,” he said. Mateo claimed the vast majority of crimes against cab drivers are committed by black and Hispanic. As a Hispanic man with a black father, Mateo told the New York Post his remarks were not racist.
Still, his remarks were met with resistance from leaders like City Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) and the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Anyone with information regarding the case is urged to call Detective Balfe at the 106th Precinct Detective Squad at 718-845-2260.